Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Trick or treat?

Yes, Halloween was three weeks ago . . . but genuine fright knows no calendar, such as the release of a new Paris Hilton movie, a "trade that helps both teams" that inevitably helps the other and not yours or the "we need to talk" conversation initiated by your girl/boyfriend, wife/husband or the hairstylist who says "I thought I'd do something different this time" before she turns the chair around to have you face the mirror.

Here's some post-Halloween/pre-Thanksgiving fun:
Which is scarier, this or this?
Have a good Thanksgiving.  See you Monday.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Tom Tomorrow here

Click here to see the new Tom Tomorrow cartoon.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Live Zeebop this week

Live Zeebop this week . . . 

We play a new venue this week, Felix/Spy Lounge, 2406 18th St. in Adams Morgan, DC. We'll be there from 5-8 p.m.
Friday night we'll play from 9-11.30 p.m. at the Red Dog Cafe, 8301-A Grubb Rd., in Silver Spring, MD. The cafe is four doors down from the Parkway Deli.
As always, thanks for your support.  To learn more about Zeebop, click here.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

Quantum of Solace

Don't listen to what anyone says -- the new James Bond movie, "Quantum of Solace," is fantastic, in some ways even better than "Casino Royale" the first in the Daniel Craig-as-Bond-era, because the story line moves beyond the usual megalamaniac trying to take over the world or unleash a death ray on a major American city and sometimes London just to make a point. More so than any Bond movie, even dating back to "Dr. No," James is motivated to find and kill the people who killed his wife at the end of "Casino Royale," which was more powerful than Diane Rigg's death in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service," largely because George Lazenby didn't play Bond the way that Ian Fleming created him -- serious, tough, not given to emotion or attachment and able to kill and walk away as if he just bumped into an old friend and shared some memories over some late afternoon tea and cookies. Craig's "Bond" is the closer to Fleming's Bond than any of the other Bonds that the previous actors played, including Sean Connery (my favorite, mostly for sentimental reasons) and Pierce Brosnan (excellent -- the best since Connery). The real Bond kills people with his bare hands, not trick watches and invisible cars, and Craig pushes to the fore Bond's violent nature and cold-bloodedness, yet makes you wonder if he's hiding something.

The movie is great. I think some of the opposition is coming from people who call movies "films" because they think it makes them sound like true patrons of the cinema, or what you and call "the movies." So what.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The next Supreme Court

The nation's attention is understandably fixated on the deepening financial crisis -- Citigroup is now the latest behemoth to invoke the "too big to fail" card -- and, of course, on whether Hillary Clinton will become our next Secretary of State (she will). Take a minute, though, to realize the ancillary effect that Barack Obama's election will have on the composition of the federal courts and, in particular, the United States Supreme Court. For the last seven years and eight months, George W. Bush has appointed almost 300 hundred judges to the lower district and appellate courts and made two key appointments to the Supreme Court, Chief Justice John Roberts and Sam Alito. Both have proven consistent and committed right-wing jurists -- there is nothing original or compelling about their judicial philosophies. Their opinions read like they've just rolled off the assembly line from the sophisticated network of public interest law groups, law school organizations and non-profit think tanks that comprise the factories where modern conservative jurisprudence has been nurtured and developed into powerful forces in American politics.

By the far the most influential group of this movement of the last 25 years is the Federalist Society, which began as an informal club among law students at Yale, Harvard and the University of Chicago to challenge what these self-described libertarians and conservatives called "orthodox liberalism," which to them was a political ideology just seven steps short of Communism. Since the second Bush administration came to office, the Federalist Society has some sort of connection to almost 50 percent of his judicial appointments. Roberts and Alito are both Federalist Society members. And while the society pretends that its outrage is over the craziness of such out-of-it radicals as David Souter and John Paul Stevens, both appointed by Republican presidents, refusal to adhere to the original intent of the Framers, its real motives are rooted in the conservative cultural, economic and political opposition to the substantive triumphs of modern American liberalism. All constitutional silences tend to favor the rights of majorities to rule, which is pretty much all the time unless they do something, which isn't often, to expand individual rights. Then we need to remember the courts are there to protect the individual from ruthless acts of badly-intentioned legislators or members of the executive branch . . .
. . . unless they're not. You get it, right?
Turns out, though, the Federalist Society will be hibernating in the political woods for the next four years and maybe, if Sarah Palin runs against Obama - oh, by the way, does anyone believe that Sarah Palin will even get invited to speak at the 2012 Republican convention, much less bear that party's standard? -- four more after that. Bush's appointments are young and conservative, and will have an impact on the lower federal courts' work for decades to come. But Obama will have to chance to fill around at minimum 200 vacancies in the lower courts, many of those openings due to the fact that the judicial appointees of Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush will be retiring, much more often than not, before Bill Clinton's appointments. I am certain that an Obama administration will take very seriously the judicial recruitment and appointment process, and take advantage, as W did, to shape the judiciary in a moderate to liberal direction. He did, after all, vote against the nominations of Roberts and Alito, as did Hillary Clinton. An Obama Justice Department is going to mean a renaissance for legal liberalism, as hundreds of eager young and established lawyers, some academic and some practioniers, will be vying to work there to undo, where possible, and halt, at minimum, the victories of the Bush administration in the courts and, more generally, the way law is thought of and manipulated throughout our culture. And the lawyers -- and, naturally, Ph.Ds in political science and philosophy -- who don't get into Justice will look elsewhere where they can debate and write about where the law should go and how best to get there.
New judges may well face many more complex statutory and constitutional questions than their predecessors. I am really interested to see how the courts will react to the inevitable challenges brought to the government's much more aggressive posture in regulating, if not, in some cases, taking over "private" industries in the automobile, financial, steel, insurance and real estate sectors. The next ten years or so could see the courts revisiting questions that haven't been raised since the New Deal. Conservatives are worried that Barack Obama will take pain to see that the courts get the attention they deserve as political institutions, and not buy into the nonsense that "the law" stands apart from politics. Let's hope the conservatives are right.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

When up is down

So now, or so I hear, it's the Big Three Detroit automakers who are "too big to fail." About two months ago, just after Lehman Brothers collapsed and the nation's huge financial, insurance and banking companies came begging, in all their exquisitely tailored and manicured glory, hats-in-hand, for their share of a $750 billion rescue package that Congress was told to authorize by Secretary of Treasury Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chief Ben Bernanke, the chief executives from General Motors, Ford and Chrysler sneaked through the kitchen entrance to ask for (and get) $25 billion in loan guarantees to save their companies from their mismanagement. Now, six weeks later, the Big Three heads of state want $25 billion more in loans to save their companies because it's not clear that they'll get the $25 billion they've already asked for. They want their money for the very same reason that AIG and what's left of the banking and financial sectors wanted theirs -- the Big Three are indeed Big, so Big that they're . . . too . . . Big . . . to fail.

Too big to fail? Let's rephrase the question by beginning with a more accurate statement:

The American automobile companies have failed. Detroit has made terrible cars for as long as I can remember. Growing up, my family started buying Japanese cars in 1979 and never turned back. Neither my wife nor I have owned an American car since 1988. My in-laws turned the corner in 1989. If Americans put as much time and effort into researching an automobile purchase as they did, say, a new Dustbuster or cell phone plan by combing through every Consumer Reports or Amazon customer review of the last however-many years, no one -- and I mean no one -- could possibly conclude that buying an American car makes sense.

For Chrysler, this is its second trip down the aisle asking for a federal bailout, having scored big in 1979 when Lee Iacocca, who was Ross Perot before Ross Perot and Mitt Romney before Mitt Romney became Ross Perot -- never mind -- sweet-talked Congress into guaranteeing loans from private lenders. That established the template for the next generation of what I've decided to call "socio-capitalists," or capitalists who operate on socialist economic principles, to come begging for relief.

I could go on, talking about the irony of the Big Three bosses stepping off their private chartered jets in Washington and then traveling by limousine over to Capitol Hill to begin their beg-a-thon that puts the annual "Save PBS" telethons to shame. At least we get a cappucino (naturally) cup for donating to PBS. And underwriting the Big Three will mean . . . what . . . to me? I don't honestly know how much of this works. But I do have a fairly competent understanding of English grammar. The phrase "to fail" to describe something that "has failed" is wrong.

* * * * * * * * * *

I haven't quite decided what Cabinet position I want to take in the Obama administration. Part of me thinks running the Justice Department might be fun. But I'd have to go to law school at night and that might mean having to skip my adult hockey games, pass up a gig or buy the iTunes versions of "The Office" and "30 Rock" at a faster clip than I already do. Plus, I probably wouldn't have time to watch them, given the demands of the job. And I've already paid my fees for the hockey season, which still has five months to go. There's travel involved, having to get up early every day and put on a suit, and . . . oh, fuck it -- let someone else do it.

Now I know how Hillary Clinton must feel. Choices, choices, choices. Should Hillary take the "floated" offer to serve as Secretary of State in the Obama administration? That gets a big "Hell, no!" from me. Then again, I'm not a fan.

But I must admit I have to admire someone who somehow manages to end up on the short list of every major job opening not on Craig's List or the American Political Science Association e-newsletter. Senate seat coming open in New York? Viva la Hillary! President of the United States? You go, girl! Secretary of State? C'mon, now. Is there a better choice out there than Hillary Clinton?

You have to examine the record. Back during the Democratic primary, Hillary took great pains to portray Barack Obama as inexperienced and untested, and, by extension, unable to understand, much less carry out, the awesome responsibilities as our Commander-in-Chief -- a theme that John McCain, the Republican nominee for president, hammered Obama on as well. Hillary and McCain, you see, were members of the same club -- Persons of Great Importance who had "crossed the threshold," "passed the bar" or "met the responsibilities" to serve as CIC. It wasn't clear then nor is it clear now just what the initiation ritual consisted of or where the test scores were posted to mark passage into this special club. On the most important foreign policy question of the post-Cold War, pre-return-to-the-Cold War era, the decision to invade Iraq, Hillary and McCain were flatly wrong. But in Washington, being wrong doesn't matter. Retaining your position of power to decide what you might want to do next -- coaching a Little League baseball team, moving to a K St. lobbying firm, running for president or offering up your considerable services to serve as a Cabinet secretary -- is the currency of value. So John McCain can be wrong on Iraq and yet claim credit as the architect of "the surge," the ingenious idea to increase troop levels so that the United States could bring violence down to 2004 levels, knowing full well that the purveyors of conventional wisdom in the corporate media will laud him as a "serious thinker unafraid to make the tough choices," even though "the surge" is to Iraq what "All Deliberate Speed" was to Brown v. Board of Education era -- a problem in search of a solution.

Hillary Clinton can use an undistinguished Senate career that has drawn praise for her mastery of briefing books rather than any legislative accomplishment of signifcance. Hillary used her time in the Senate to prepare her failed presidential run, which I accurately predicted would be the presidential campaign equivalent of the Titanic -- an expensive, doomed disaster, yet still retain her reputation as a modern day Eleanor Roosevelt. Hillary was unable to manage her campaign team, blew through over a $120 million in the process, needlessly extended the Democratic primary by insisting, with the cooperation of the corporate media, that she had a chance, until the very end, to win a nomination that she lost in early March and . . . yet . . . persuade the "serious" thinkers who staff the Op-Ed page of the Washington Post and navigate the shark-infested waters of "official" Washington that she'd be a great pick as Secretary of State.

No, I didn't state that incorrectly. A Clinton as our nation's chief diplomat. Think about that one for a moment.

Just how do you get to the point that you are presumptively qualified for any job out there when you haven't demonstrated that you're any good at the one you already have? Here's one possible answer. Years ago, we had a Dean in the School of Public Affairs at American University who was an absolute disaster from the moment he stepped on to campus. Imagine, if you can, Michael Scott from "The Office" combined with Lumberg from "Office Space" but minus the charm and that's what you get. He came here with sterling recommendations, so naturally the question was, and I paraphrase, "WTF?" And then the lightbulb went off. Everyone wanted to get rid of him, so they wrote him great references, you know, that ones that go, "As much as we'd hate to lose Dean Schmendrick, neither do we want to get in his way as he continues to build his career." Seems generous, right?

Wrong. Translated: "If you want him, you can have him."

Maybe Hillary Clinton would be a good Secretary of State. Maybe she could use the position to run for another office, say, Prime Minister of Great Britain or President of France or -- talk about cracking that glass ceiling by the millions -- Queen of Saudi Arabia! Imagine Hillary and the Hillary-nistas running an oil fiefdom where women can't vote or do much of anything else unless their husbands or fathers let them. For me, though, that's less of a question than how the John McCains and Hillary Clintons of the world are always called upon to save the day when their legacies of bad judgment far outweigh anything else they've done.

And that's not even getting to Joe Lieberman. Can you . . .

No. I just can't get into that.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tom Tomorrow here

Click here to see the new Tom Tomorrow cartoon.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Red State Update

Jackie and Dunlap continue to cope with the concept of President-elect Obama. Apparently, it's not so easy.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Live Zeebop this week

Live Zeebop this week . . .

We have two dates this week:

Thursday, November 20th, Maggianos, 5330 Wisconsin Ave., NW, in Friendship Heights across from Mazza Gallerie. We play three sets of straight-ahead jazz, with some blues and funk creepin' in at some point. 6.30-9.30 p.m. We'll be joined by local blues guitarist Mark Kowal.

Friday, November 21st, Red Dog Cafe, 8301-A Grubb Rd., Silver Spring, MD. This will be our first show at Red Dog, which is located just south of the intersection of East-West Highway and Grubb Rd. Some of you might these directions easier: Red Dog is just a few doors down from the Parkway Deli -- yes, the one with the pickle bar! We would appreciate all the support we can get! Two sets of straight-ahead jazz from 9-11.30 p.m.

Zeebop is represented by Grabielismo Productions.

To learn more about Zeebop, click here. We plan to start recording our first CD very soon.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tom Tomorrow here

Click here to see the new Tom Tomorrow cartoon.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Red State Update

Jackie and Dunlap move to Canada and decide that, perhaps, their lifestyle doesn't suit the Great White North.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Barack Obama . . . a man for our times

"Unbelievable" shouldn't be the reaction anyone has after hearing a speech from a president-elect or even a president of the United States. As the largest democratic nation in the world, we should expect our presidents to have a demonstrated intelligence, foresight, calmness and sophistication when speaking to Americans or to the world.

But after eight years of suffering through a president who is without a doubt the least capable man ever to hold the office, hearing Barack Obama address the nation just a few minutes ago highlights the startling difference between the new president-elect and his predecessor. How the hell did we end up in a position where we seem grateful that our president can speak the English language and use it to communicate an articulate, thoughtful and powerful vision? Another legacy left by George W. Bush.

Barack Obama has nowhere to go but up. He is, literally, following, in Bush, the worst president in American history. Just his ability to speak in complete sentences and demonstrate fluency in the important issues of our time is a major break from the past. Now is not the time, though, to vent about Bush, although I must add that anyone who thinks that history will "vindicate" him is a complete idiot -- or mentally ill. A brilliant, thoughtful man who sees the world as something beyond some mythical version of 1955 small-town America to which no one in their right mind would return. President Obama has arrived not a moment too soon.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

John McCain shows class . . .

John McCain's concession speech is easily his finest moment of his campaign. I don't recall ever hearing such a heartfelt, thoughtful and generous speech by a candidate who has just lost a presidential campaign.

You could really see McCain's anger when some of his supporters starting booing when he congratulated Obama. The reaction was instant and genuine.

Good for John McCain. You can almost see a sense of relief in his face, although I don't know if he's happier to be done with a campaign he never seemed enthusiastic about or because he's now free from the right-wing nut jobs that ruined his candidacy (like the ones booing McCain -- again -- for congratulating Obama and Biden one last time).

Tears of joy

I just heard John Lewis, perhaps our greatest living American -- and, no, I'm not kidding, and if you think I am you need to do some reading -- interviewed on television. Listening to this giant of the civil rights movement, I couldn't help but shed a tear when I saw that Lewis's eyes started to mist over.

I cannot even imagine what this night means to Lewis, Andrew Young, Coretta Scott King and so many other African-American men and women who devoted their lives to making this country live up to its self-professed ideals. Not to belabor the point, but I think white folks need to step aside right now and resist congratulating themselves on their "willingness" to elect a black president and instead thank African-Americans for their patience and, yes, their allegiance to a country that made them wait for longer than they should have for something that is now rightfully theirs to share.

President Barack Obama

"Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, free at last . . ."

Thank you, Ohio! You just made Barack Obama the 44th president of the United States.

And, as always, thanks to Sarah Palin for accepting the Republican vice-presidential nomination. You were truly a gift that kept on giving.

Live Zeebop this week

Zeebop will play at Pap and Peteys, located at 5th and H Sts., NE, Wednesday night, November 5th, from 7.30-11.00 p.m. Join us for three sets of straight-ahead jazz, served with a slice of funk at one the H St. corridors great new places.

If nothing else, come celebrate the end of the election.

Zeebop is represented by Grabielismo Productions.

As always, thank you for your support.

Tom Tomorrow here

Click here to see the new Tom Tomorrow cartoon.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Red State Update

Jackie and Dunlap ruminate on the presidential campaign's closing moments, plus highlight all the terrible things Bill Ayers has done to America, Sarah Palin's rogue operation and reveal the scandal around Barack Obama's distant aunt who is living in squalor -- illegally.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Four reasons John McCain cannot win the election

Here are four reasons that John McCain cannot win the presidential election this Tuesday. No, I don't have any special insight into the data that has been collected, massaged, analyzed and interpreted (or misinterpreted) to death that show Barack Obama winning by a fairly comfortable margin, both in the Electoral College and in the popular vote. My point here is why a McCain victory at this point, just 48 hours before the polls close on the East Coast, would be disastrous for the nation. Not simply disastrous because his election would mean that, after eight years of absolute horror from the most unpopular president in modern American history, the nation has chosen to extend the Bush reign of error for four more years. Right now, the race isn't really close. The polls show Obama ahead in every state John Kerry and Al Gore won plus: New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Colorado, Iowa and Virginia. Plus, Obama is knocking on the door in North Carolina, Indiana, Florida and Missouri. He is ahead by anywhere from 3.5-7% in national polls. This is not a nailbiter from the perspective of the professionals who design and administer polls and analyze the data. In layman's terms, the outcome of this election is about as mysterious as one of those winter storms that will hit town and dump enough snow to make life for everyone fun, then miserable for a couple of days. The only question is whether the storm will leave 6" or two feet by the time it's done.

And so what happens if, by some miracle, John McCain wins on Tuesday?

1. Racism will explain the difference between a predicted Obama win and an actual McCain victory.  Sorry, but there is no other explanation.  I doubt very seriously that the very same people who have told pollsters and reporters that they plan to vote for Obama are going over their respective health care or economic plans this weekend that will lead to a "A-ha!" moment.  I doubt very seriously that Bill Ayers or Jeremiah Wright or some other McCain boogey-man will move decided voters from Obama to McCain.  No, at this point the only factor that can possibly explain a serious shift to McCain is racism.  Let's be real clear here.  Racism is not just dressing up in sheets and burning crosses or throwing around racial epithets without a trace of social consciousness.  Racism, among other things, is when you assign a superior value to one person and an inferior value to another because of their ancestry or ethnic origin.  For a voter to conclude that he just can't vote for a black man after telling someone he could is a racist. Sorry.  For the life of me, I don't understand why conventional journalists and commentators have bent so far over backward to dismiss the covert racial appeals of, first, the Clinton campaign in the Democratic primary and, now, the McCain campaign in the general primary.  Continuing the beat the Jeremiah Wright drum, outcries of "socialism" by a candidate who has just voted to authorize close to $1 trillion in government funds to save Wall Street, A.I.G. and, coming up, the Detroit auto companies, the emphasis on giving "our" money to "those" who don't deserve it, the not-so-subtle effort to link Obama to his Islamic superiors in al-Qaeda . . . the whole she-bang is just one big racial dog whistle. So far it hasn't worked.  If anything, the clear emphasis by the Clinton and McCain campaigns to make Obama a "black candidate" who will put black America first and everyone else second, like "hard-working white Americans," has backfired.

Hundreds of thousands of voters will have to retreat into their protective racial shells come Tuesday.  And while the McCain campaign has not been above appealing to voters vacillating on whether this accomplished, Harvard-educated lawyer, community organizer, professor, state legislator and U.S. senator is "ready" to serve as president -- witness Arlen Specter's pathetic comments in Pennsylvania this weekend on the secret lives of Pennsylvania voters -- the real question for McCain to consider as he prepares for the last election of his life is this: Does he really, really want to become president by appealing to the sickness that is American racism?  Does he really, really want to take the presidential oath knowing that African-Americans will no longer have any reason to trust white America again?  What will his friends in the Establishment media have to say about that? Will they continue to look for alternative explanations that don't exist?  

This is put up or shut up time for Americans who claim they are "beyond" the stains of our racist past and who claim race is just "one of those things they just don't notice" when sizing up the attributes of a black candidate. Forget, for a moment, what a stupid statement that is. I notice that someone is black every time I talk to someone who is black, just like I notice that a woman is a woman every time I talk to a woman. Failing to support a candidate who is so far and away superior to his opponent because that person just "isn't ready" for a black president has no positive outcome for anyone, least of all John McCain, who will become the Dorian Gray of American politics.

2. The political polling industry will have a hard time recovering from such a colossal miscalculation of the American public. Seriously, what legitimacy will the political polling industry have if their respondents prove them wrong?  Or perhaps the caveat in their marketing materials will be:  "Predicting political outcomes with confidence as long as a black man doesn't run against a white candidate since 1996." Honestly, I think the only people rooting harder for Obama to win than his most fervent supporters are the pollsters who make their livelihood convincing political candidates that they know what they're doing.

3. The international community will give the United States the finger. Point of clarification: the United States didn't squander its reputation as an international force of liberty, democracy and free markets after it rejected the consensus of the international community and invaded Iraq in March 2003.  Rather, the United States managed to lose the sympathy of nations who were repulsed by the attacks on New York and Washington that killed over 3,000 innocent men, women and children who had done nothing more than get up and go to work on the morning of September 11th, 2001. America's imagined post-Iraq decline in the eyes of the world actually began in the 1960s, when Lyndon Johnson refused to leave Vietnam because he didn't want to be remembered as the "only" American president who lost a war and continued through Richard Nixon's decision to extend illegally the war into Laos and Cambodia.  Our allies have never embraced our foreign policies on the Middle East, Latin America, Cuba, South Africa (remember the apartheid years?), Africa and many more places around the globe.  U.S. support for the Nicaraguan contras during the 1980s wasn't a terribly popular or wise decision.  Yes, the United States did the right thing in the 1990s by bringing, along with other NATO nations, an end to the carnage directed by former Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic (an effort, for you historians out there, opposed by very same people who couldn't wait to topple Saddam's statute just a few years later).  But America's perception of itself as the nation that all other aspire to be is perhaps the best example of "American exceptionalism," or the belief that America was somehow chosen by God to be different and better than every other nation. For American voters to turn on Barack Obama two days before the election will reinforce the perception that many of our nominal allies have of our country as one that is intractably racist and thus in no position to lecture the rest of the world, much less invade other countries, that refuse to follow our model.

4. Wave good-bye to grass-roots activism.  After hearing the old folks lament the laziness and self-absorption of Generation X, Y, maybe Z (doesn't this sound a bit like the Cat in the Hat, with Thing 1, Thing 2 and all the other little Things you couldn't see?), young people decided to put down their remotes and their wireless mice and hit the streets.  Families and individuals of modest means began putting aside a few dollars a week to send to Barack Obama as if they were tithing on behalf of some new religion. And what happens? Their candidate loses because the McCain campaign reaches deep into the post-1964 Republican campaign manual and sells the country on the evils of electing a black, er, I mean an "untested, socialist and Muslim" president.  A disengaged citizenry isn't good for democracy, assuming that the Republican party thinks that actual democratic engagement by the average people is a good thing, or only a good thing if it is an unlicensed, semi-employed plumber who's pissed off, or the secessionist-minded husband of Alaska's governor.  

"My feets is tired but my soul is rested," is a comment that Martin Luther King attributed to one of the quiet but courageous women of the Montgomery Bus Boycott who walked miles and miles everyday to and from work rather than continue to sit in the back of that city's segregated buses.  Forty-eight hours from now, we'll have the chance to see just how rested the soul of America, fifty years later, really is.