Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Sunday, February 11, 2018
"The Drum Major Instinct" His last SERMON before assassination. Prophetically, it ends with a dictation of his own eulogy, beginning at 35:07. Delivered to his congregation Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia on February 4, 1968. Not to be confused with his last SPEECH "I've Been to the Mountaintop" given two months later on April 3, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee.
(1) NYT Editorial Board: Making Dr. King a Pitchman, Turning His Words Upside Down
(2) Mark 10: Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
(3) (Sermon concludes with allusion to Matthew 25): Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
Saturday, February 10, 2018
Robert F. Kennedy: Day of Affirmation Address in South Africa (aka 'Ripple of Hope') - FULL - with TEXT
Robert F. Kennedy: Day of Affirmation Address in South Africa (aka 'Ripple of Hope') - FULL
“There is," said an Italian philosopher, "nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things." Yet this is the measure of the task of your generation, and the road is strewn with many dangers.
First, is the danger of futility: the belief there is nothing one man or one woman can do against the enormous array of the world's ills -- against misery, against ignorance, or injustice and violence. Yet many of the world's great movements, of thought and action, have flowed from the work of a single man. A young monk began the Protestant Reformation, a young general extended an empire from Macedonia to the borders of the earth, and a young woman reclaimed the territory of France. It was a young Italian explorer who discovered the New World, and 32 year-old Thomas Jefferson who proclaimed that "all men are created equal."
"Give me a place to stand," said Archimedes, "and I will move the world." These men moved the world, and so can we all. Few will have the greatness to bend history, but each of us can work to change a small portion of the events, and then the total -- all of these acts -- will be written in the history of this generation.
Thousands of Peace Corps volunteers are making a difference in the isolated villages and the city slums of dozens of countries. Thousands of unknown men and women in Europe resisted the occupation of the Nazis and many died, but all added to the ultimate strength and freedom of their countries. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage such as these that the belief that human history is thus shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
"If Athens shall appear great to you," said Pericles, "consider then that her glories were purchased by valiant men, and by men who learned their duty." That is the source of all greatness in all societies, and it is the key to progress in our time.
Friday, February 9, 2018
|Facebook has described a problem with illegitimate "likes"|
Cambodia Facebook feud hits California courts
BBC | 8 February 2018
Lawyers for exiled Cambodian opposition figure Sam Rainsy have filed legal action against Facebook, in a case that highlights how the quest for "likes" has gripped the small Southeast Asian country's leading politicians.
|Former Cambodia National Rescue Party president Sam Rainsy in 2015 Yoshikazu Tsuno / AFP / Getty Images|
An Exiled Politician Is Taking Facebook To Court Over Human Rights Abuses
BuzzFeed News | 9 February 2018
A team of lawyers filed a petition against Facebook on Thursday on behalf of a former Cambodian opposition leader in an attempt to prove that the country's prime minister is using the social media platform to commit human rights abuses.
Former opposition leader Sam Rainsy is being prosecuted for defamation in Cambodia for his claims that Prime Minister Hun Sen bought a significant portion of his Facebook followers. Facebook — which is so popular in Cambodia that it is practically synonymous with the internet — has come under fire in recent months for distorting democratic processes by hosting armies of state-sponsored trolls and amplifying propaganda from authoritarian governments. In Cambodia, it has given the government a streamlined process to report objectionable posts, officials have told BuzzFeed News.
HRW: Cambodia: Free Forcibly Returned Critic of Hun Sen Thailand Violates International Law by Returning UN-Recognized Refugee
Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen arrives to attend the Cambodian People's Party (CPP) congress in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on January 19, 2018.© 2018 Samrang Pring / Reuters
Cambodia: Free Forcibly Returned Critic of Hun Sen
Thailand Violates International Law by Returning UN-Recognized Refugee
Human Rights Watch | 9 February 2018
(New York) – The Cambodian government should immediately release Sam Sokha, a Cambodian labor activist who gained notoriety after she threw a sandal at a photo of Prime Minister Hun Sen in April 2017, Human Rights Watch said today. On February 8, 2018, Thai authorities forcibly returned Sam Sokha, who had been detained in Bangkok in January, to Cambodia.
Video of her act was circulated widely on social media. Shortly thereafter, Cambodian authorities issued a warrant for her arrest for “insult of a public official” and “incitement to discriminate” under articles 494, 496, and 502 of the Cambodia Criminal Code. As a result, she was forced to flee Cambodia and seek asylum in Thailand. In Thailand, she was interviewed and formally recognized as a refugee by UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency. Forcibly returning her violates the customary international law principle of non-refoulement, which prohibits the return of anyone to a place where they would face the threat of persecution, torture, or other serious human rights violations.
“Thailand was fully aware of Sam Sokha’s status as a refugee, yet still returned her to Cambodia, where she is likely to face a prison term for expressing her political views,” said Brad Adams, Asia director. “It’s sad but not surprising that a military junta would do a favor for a neighboring dictator, but they should not cement their friendship at the expense of a refugee.”
Sam Sokha was arrested on January 5 by Thai authorities in Bangkok. The Suan Phlu Immigration Detention Center investigation team reported to Sam Sokha’s lawyers that they received a request for cooperation from Cambodia on her case. On January 6, Sam Sokha was charged for illegal entry under section 81 of the Immigration Act.
On January 22, Sam Sokha’s lawyers sent a letter via registered mail to the Thai National Security Council, Thai police, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Bureau informing the Thai authorities of Sam Sokha’s intention to appeal her immigration charges and putting on record her refusal to return to Cambodia. On February 2, Sam Sokha’s lawyers filed an appeal relating to unlawful entry charges.
[Demographic Vietnamization: Logging, Military, Border, Crime] Illegal logging: Cambodia’s murderous problem - by Mu Sochua
|Family members, neighbours and colleagues attend the funeral of Wildlife Conservation Society staffer Thol Khna, who was killed while on a patrol in Mondulkiri. Alessandro Marazzi Sassoon|
Illegal logging: Cambodia’s murderous problem
Phnom Penh Post | 9 February 2018
by Mu Sochua
Before becoming a forest ranger, Theun Soknay was a student at a boarding school in Mondulkiri province. He later worked as a tour guide at the Bunong Place, and obtained a bachelor’s degree, before working at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) for four years, where he developed the Jahoo Gibbon Camp. In 2017, his passion for preserving the environment led him to pass the national exam to become an official ranger with the Ministry of Environment.
Thursday, February 8, 2018
[Vietnamization: Logging, Military, Border, Environmental Destruction] Timber trade to Vietnam up – again
Timber trade to Vietnam up – again
Phnom Penh Post | 8 February 2018
Despite a ban on timber exports and the government’s repeated declaration that “large-scale” logging has been stopped, Vietnamese customs data compiled by watchdog Forest Trends show a significant increase in the import of Cambodian logs and sawn wood in 2017.
The data show that some 163,071 cubic metres of Cambodian logs were exported to Vietnam in 2017, a 17 percent increase on the year before. The value of exports jumped 21 percent to $40 million.
The figures for sawn wood, or lumber, meanwhile, reflect an even more “substantial” increase, in particular during the dry season, according to Forest Trends senior policy analyst Phuc Xuan To. The data show a near 60 percent jump from 171,306 cubic metres in exports to 272,693 cubic metres, and a near-$25 million increase in value to more than $173 million.
Xuan To said in an email that three border crossings saw the highest transport of logs in the first half of 2017: the Le Thanh checkpoint, which connects to Ratanakkiri’s O’Yadav district; Bo Y, which connects to Virachey National Park via a road passing through Laos; and Hoa Lu, which connects to Kratie province.
Cambodian authorities have maintained that large-scale logging ceased last year after a crackdown and announcement of an export ban of timber to Vietnam in January 2016.
“Cambodia’s ban on exports of timber and wood products is clearly meaningless for the dozen or so companies that appear to control all exports to Vietnam,” Jago Wadley, a Senior Forest Campaigner for EIA wrote by email. The organisation found that at the end of 2016 and start of 2017, a coordinated campaign among Vietnamese companies and officials on both side of the border resulted in the export of some 350,000 cubic metres of timber in just five months.
“Vietnamese government institutions at both central and provincial levels authorised the issuance of import quotas for wood that could not be legally exported from Cambodia, established extraordinary border crossings to facilitate the smuggling, and taxed the proceeds of crime,” he wrote.
“The new data just shows Vietnam’s government has continued to tax the proceeds of Cambodian crimes.”
A breakdown of the customs data by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) from October 2016 through September 2017 by wood species shows that the most heavily targeted is Xylia dolabriformis Benth, known as sokram in Cambodia.
The luxury wood accounts for some 21 percent of the import volume for that period. Meanwhile about 15 percent was Keruing timber, commonly used to manufacture plywood, with a similar volume being recorded as the luxury wood known locally as thnong.
Eng Hy, spokesman for the Military Police, who chairs the government’s anti-logging task force, was unreachable yesterday.
Environment Minister Say Samal [Say Sam Ol] declined to comment unless presented with “an official letter or data”, and ministry spokesman Sao Sopheap said that because the data were compiled by Forest Trends, and did not come directly from the Vietnamese government, “verification is needed before conclusion”. The ministry has previously disputed customs data published by Forest Trends and EIA and made claims that it is politicised.
Speaking at a luncheon held by the business group EuroCham Cambodia in January, Minister Samal repeated the claim that only “small-scale” logging remained, pointing specifically to Mondulkiri’s Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary near the Vietnamese border as a success story.
Just last week three forest patrollers there were gunned down, allegedly by border police and soldiers colluding with a cross-border logging operation.
The park’s director, Kong Putheara, downplayed the extent of logging in the area. “Only the other day, there was a case that three men were shot dead, and that’s it. Besides that, there is nothing going on,” he said.
In an email this week, Goldman Prize-winning environmentalist Ouch Leng said the cross-border trade with Vietnam is the “main cause of deforestation in Cambodia”. Leng called on the EU to discontinue its imports of wood from Vietnam, alleging that timber smuggled from Cambodia is re-exported to EU markets, thus embroiling Europe in environmental crimes that are the result of “systematic corruption from [the] bottom to [the] national level”.
Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. - April 4, 1967 - Beyond Vietnam: A Time To Break Silence [Full Speech]
Delivered 4 April 1967, Riverside Church, New York City
I come to this magnificent house of worship tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice. I join you in this meeting because I'm in deepest agreement with the aims and work of the organization which has brought us together: Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam. The recent statements of your executive committee are the sentiments of my own heart, and I found myself in full accord when I read its opening lines: "A time comes when silence is betrayal." And that time has come for us in relation to Vietnam.
The truth of these words is beyond doubt, but the mission to which they call us is a most difficult one. Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government's policy, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one's own bosom and in the surrounding world. Moreover, when the issues at hand seem as perplexing as they often do in the case of this dreadful conflict, we are always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty; but we must move on.
And some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak. And we must rejoice as well, for surely this is the first time in our nation's history that a significant number of its religious leaders have chosen to move beyond the prophesying of smooth patriotism to the high grounds of a firm dissent based upon the mandates of conscience and the reading of history. Perhaps a new spirit is rising among us. If it is, let us trace its movements and pray that our own inner being may be sensitive to its guidance, for we are deeply in need of a new way beyond the darkness that seems so close around us.
[Demographic Vietnamization: Border, Military] Cambodia’s friendship order to Vietnamese individuals, organisations
|Twelve Vietnamese organisations and individuals were conferred with Cambodia’s friendship order.|
Cambodia’s friendship order to Vietnamese individuals, organisations
Vietnam Plus | 8 February 2018
Hanoi (VNA) – Twelve Vietnamese organisations and individuals were conferred with Cambodia’s friendship order at a ceremony held in Ho Chi Minh on February 7 by Vietnam’s Defence Ministry and a working group of the Cambodian Government.
The decoration was made in recognition of their contributions to Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Year 2017.
Keo Ba Phnom, advisor to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen presented the Order of Thephaden to five organisations and Order of Moha Sena to seven individuals.
At the event, Keo Ba Phnom lauded the support from the Vietnamese Ministry of Defence, organisations and individuals in making a documentary about Cambodia’s history and culture.
He also thanked the Vietnamese Party, Government, army and people for helping Cambodians escape the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime [the CeePeePee's Hallelujah Chorus].
Deputy Director of the General Department of Politics under the Vietnam People’s Army Senior-Lieutenant General Nguyen Trong Nghia thanked Cambodia for honouring Vietnamese organisations and individuals.
He affirmed that the two countries’ armies will continue to carry out cooperative agreements between Vietnam and Cambodia, making contributions to the “traditional friendship, comprehensive cooperation and long-term sustainability” between Vietnam and Cambodia.-VNA
[Demographic Vietnamization: ASEAN, Indochina] Mekong innovative startups support programmes open for applications
|The MIST Tourism Start-up Bootcamp 2017 in Da Nang, Vietnam. (Photo: mist.asia)|
Mekong innovative startups support programmes open for applications
Vietnam Plus | 7 February 2018
Hanoi (VNA) – The Destination Mekong and the Mekong Business Initiative on February 7 announced their 2018 Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism (MIST) business support programmes are now open for applications.
For the first time, the MIST Startup Accelerator is welcoming applications for tourism, hospitality, and travel tech startups headquartered in Thailand, besides Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. The Startup Accelerator provides support to early-stage companies with innovative and scalable business models. The programme will close to applications on March 10, 2018.
[Demographic Vietnamization: Border, Military, Svay Rieng, Market] Tay Ninh strengthens friendship with Cambodian localities
|Leaders and army commanders of Cambodian localities present gifts to Chairman of the People’s Committee of southern Tay Ninh province Pham Van Tan (R) (Source: VNA)|
Tay Ninh strengthens friendship with Cambodian localities
Vietnam Plus | 8 February 2018
Tay Ninh (VNA) – Chairman of the People’s Committee of southern Tay Ninh province Pham Van Tan has asked Cambodian localities bordering Vietnam to continue implementing cooperative programmes for the interests of the two peoples.
Tan hosted a reception on February 7 for leaders and army commanders of Cambodia’s Prey Veng, Tboung Khmum, Svay Rieng and Kampong Cham provinces which border Tay Ninh, ahead of the Lunar New Year (Tet) festival.
He informed the guests of his locality’s development achievements, affirming that cooperative progarmmes in trade, education, health, transport, border marker planting and crime prevention have contributed to stabilising border security and building a border of peace and friendship.
Governor of Svay Rieng province Men Vibol, on behalf of the Cambodian delegation, extended New Year wishes to Tay Ninh’s leaders, officers, soldiers and people.
He reported that Tay Ninh and Svay Rieng provinces have coordinated in protecting security and order in border areas and planting border markers.
He took this occasion to thank Tay Ninh authorities for helping build and repair roads in border areas, and organising free medical check-ups and treatment for poor people in Cambodia.-VNA
Cambodian politics - opposing PM Hun Sen from afar
Deutsche Welle | 7 February 2018
Cambodian opposition leader-in-exile, Sam Rainsy, is trying to mount a strong challenge to long-ruling Prime Minister Hun Sen in Cambodia's upcoming elections – from and with the help of Europe. Kris Janssens reports.
Last Saturday, February 3, about 200 Cambodian expats met in the outskirts of Paris to discuss the political situation in their home country. Taking center stage was 68-year-old Sam Rainsy (main picture), the former Cambodian opposition leader who went into self-imposed exile to avoid imprisonment on trumped-up political charges.
The crowd cheered when he took the floor to address them.
Firm and self-assured, Rainsy declared, "One day we will decide to tell the people to stand up, and they will stand up!" He demanded the release of all political prisoners in Cambodia, starting with Kem Sokha, the current opposition leader who was charged with treason last September after being accused of trying to topple the government with backing from Washington. If convicted, he faces up to 30 years in prison.
Cambodia's political history reads like a thriller. Sokha and Rainsy originally belonged to separate opposition parties. But in 2012 they joined forces and founded the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP).
Hun Sen has been Cambodia's prime minister for 33 years now
Please read my media statement of the slide back to dictatorship in Cambodia and the inaction of the Australian Government in taking a stand. The United States and the EU are showing the way. — feeling concerned.- Hong Lim
[Vietnamization: Border, Military] សមត្ថកិច្ច បង្ហាញ របាយការណ៍ ពីបញ្ហា មិនប្រក្រតី នៅតាមព្រំដែន ជាមួយ ប្រទេសជិតខាង | Authority shows report of irregularities along borders with neighboring countries
|យោធារបស់កម្ពុជា ដែលកំពុងឈរជើងនៅតំបន់ព្រំដែនឋិតនៅឃុំថ្មកែវ ស្រុកសៀមប៉ាង ខែត្រស្ទឹងត្រែង កាលពីថ្ងៃទី១៧ ខែកុម្ភៈ ឆ្នាំ២០១៧។ Photo Provided|
សមត្ថកិច្ច បង្ហាញ របាយការណ៍ ពីបញ្ហា មិនប្រក្រតី នៅតាមព្រំដែន ជាមួយ ប្រទេសជិតខាង
RFA / វិទ្យុ អាស៊ី សេរី | ៨ កុម្ភៈ ២០១៨
អគ្គស្នងការនគរបាលជាតិ បានបង្ហាញកាលពីពេលថ្មីៗនេះឲ្យដឹងថា មានសកម្មភាពមិនប្រក្រតីនៅតាមព្រំដែនក្នុងឆ្នាំ២០១៧ ជាមួយប្រទេសជាប់ព្រំដែនកម្ពុជា មានប្រទេសថៃ ប្រទេសវៀតណាម និងប្រទេសឡាវ នោះបានកើតឡើងចំនួន ៣៨៨លើក។
Cambodia: Supreme Court upholds deeply flawed conviction against land activist Tep Vanny
Amnesty International | 7 February 2018
Reacting to the news that the Cambodian Supreme Court today upheld the conviction and a 30 months' prison sentence for land rights activist Tep Vanny, James Gomez, Amnesty International's Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, said:
The criminal proceedings against Tep Vanny have been deeply flawed from the start. She has become a symbol for the fight for justice in Cambodia and is someone the authorities have been determined to take off Cambodia's streets by any means necessary.
"With today's ruling, Cambodia's judiciary has once again failed to prove that it can act independently, choosing to do the government's bidding instead. Tep Vanny is a brave social activist who has done nothing but peacefully stand up for her community. She should be released immediately and unconditionally, not forced to spend two and a half years in jail.
"The criminal proceedings against Tep Vanny have been deeply flawed from the start. She has become a symbol for the fight for justice in Cambodia and is someone the authorities have been determined to take off Cambodia's streets by any means necessary.
អង្គការ អន្តរជាតិ ថា តុលាការ កម្ពុជា ប្រព្រឹត្ត កំហុស ធ្ងន់ធ្ងរ ក្នុងរឿងក្ដី អ្នកស្រី ទេព វន្នី | International organization says Cambodian court ruling deeply flawed in case of Tep Vanny
|ពលរដ្ឋមានបញ្ហាដីធ្លីធ្វើពិធីបួងសួងសុំឲ្យមានការដោះលែងអ្នកស្រី ទេព វន្នី នៅតំបន់បឹងកក់ កាលពីថ្ងៃទី១៥ ខែសីហា ឆ្នាំ២០១៧។|
អង្គការ អន្តរជាតិ ថា តុលាការ កម្ពុជា ប្រព្រឹត្ត កំហុស ធ្ងន់ធ្ងរ ក្នុងរឿងក្ដី អ្នកស្រី ទេព វន្នី
RFA / វិទ្យុ អាស៊ី សេរី | ៧ កុម្ភៈ ២០១៨
RFA Khmer - កម្មវិធី ទូរទស្សន៍ អាស៊ីសេរី សម្រាប់ ថ្ងៃទី៧ ខែកុម្ភៈ ឆ្នាំ២០១៨ | RFA TV for 7 February 2018
RFA Khmer - កម្មវិធី ទូរទស្សន៍ អាស៊ីសេរី សម្រាប់ ថ្ងៃទី៧ ខែកុម្ភៈ ឆ្នាំ២០១៨
CNRM founder Sam Rainsy suggested Kheng and his party did not have a copyright or patent on those words, and that the violent threats to eliminate his movement merely showed Cambodia needed rescuing again.
“Why are they so afraid of words? Maybe it’s a tacit recognition on their part that ‘national rescue’ or ‘national salvation’ have become relevant again, but this time against them,” he said.
|Interior Minister Sar Kheng attends a meeting at Phnom Penh’s City Hall yesterday, where he compared a new opposition movement to ISIS and accused them of stealing the phrase ‘national salvation’. Hong Menea|
Sar Kheng says CNRP stole ‘national rescue’
Phnom Penh Post | 8 February 2018
Interior Minister Sar Kheng yesterday lamented the phrase “national rescue” had been co-opted by the opposition party and their new movement – which he claimed could “become ISIS” – because the concept of “national salvation” belonged to the ruling party.
បេក្ខជន តំណាងរាស្ត្រ បក្សប្រឆាំង ម្នាក់ទៀត ត្រូវ ចាប់ខ្លួន ពាក់ព័ន្ធ ការបញ្ជូន ពលករ ទៅក្រៅប្រទេស | Another opposition parliamentarian candidate arrested involving workers overseas
បេក្ខជន តំណាងរាស្ត្រ បក្សប្រឆាំង ម្នាក់ទៀត ត្រូវ ចាប់ខ្លួន ពាក់ព័ន្ធ ការបញ្ជូន ពលករ ទៅក្រៅប្រទេស
RFA / វិទ្យុ អាស៊ី សេរី | ៧ កុម្ភៈ ២០១៨
នគរបាល នៃក្រសួង មហាផ្ទៃ ចាប់ខ្លួន បេក្ខជន តំណាងរាស្ត្រ មិនជាប់ឆ្នោត របស់ គណបក្ស សង្គ្រោះជាតិ មណ្ឌល កំពង់ចាម ឈ្មោះ អ៊ីស្មាអែល ពិនឧស្មាន នៅថ្ងៃ ទី៧ ខែកុម្ភៈ ពីបទទាក់ទង បញ្ជូនពលករ ខ្មែរ ទៅក្រៅប្រទេស។
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
|An image from a Super Bowl commercial for Ram trucks that featured a speech by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The use of the speech for advertising has drawn criticism. Ram Truck Brand, via Associated Press|
Making Dr. King a Pitchman, Turning His Words Upside Down
Editorial Board / New York Times |
William Bernbach, a titan of Madison Avenue who died in 1982, said, “If your advertising goes unnoticed, everything else is academic.” The spinmeisters for Ram trucks must have taken Mr. Bernbach’s admonition to heart. With a Super Bowl commercial on Sunday that used as its soundtrack a sermon delivered by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 50 years earlier to the day, they got the notice they wanted. Much of the reaction, though, amounted to a richly deserved thumbs-down.
The sermon was Dr. King’s “Drum Major Instinct” speech, given in Atlanta in 1968 two months before his assassination. Everybody, he said, had this instinct — “a desire to be out front, a desire to lead the parade, a desire to be first.” But it had to be harnessed, he said as he went on to equate greatness with service to others. Ostensibly, the Ram commercial was an appeal for people to serve. But who’s kidding whom? The goal was to sell trucks, with Dr. King’s voice as pitchman.
The sheer crassness led to instant condemnation on social media, including speculation about what might be next — maybe trotting out James Baldwin to hawk “The Firestone Next Time”? Critics were hardly mollified by word that Ram had the blessing of Intellectual Properties Management, the licenser of Dr. King’s estate. The estate has not always been his staunchest guardian against posthumous commercialization.
It might serve history a tad more faithfully to note other appeals that Dr. King made in that Feb. 4, 1968, sermon. For one thing, he was appalled by the way many people went into hock to buy vehicles they couldn’t possibly afford: “So often, haven’t you seen people making $5,000 a year and driving a car that cost 6,000? And they wonder why their ends never meet.”
While we’re at it, he also didn’t think highly of advertising gurus — “you know, those gentlemen of massive verbal persuasion.” He continued: “They have a way of saying things to you that kind of gets you into buying. In order to be a man of distinction, you must drink this whiskey. In order to make your neighbors envious, you must drive this type of car. In order to be lovely to love, you must wear this kind of lipstick or this kind of perfume. And you know, before you know it, you’re just buying that stuff.”
For that matter, Dr. King might well have been talking about a president a half-century in the future when he expounded on the need to rein in the drum major instinct, for otherwise it becomes “very dangerous” and “pernicious.”
“Have you ever heard people that, you know — and I’m sure you’ve met them — that really become sickening because they just sit up all the time talking about themselves?” he said. “And they just boast and boast and boast. And that’s the person who has not harnessed the drum major instinct.”
In the sermon’s finale, Dr. King said that he thought about his own death and funeral. It led to these ringing words: “If you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter.”
He did not ask to be a huckster for a line of trucks.
[Demographic Vietnamization: Logging, Military, Border] ប្រជាសហគមន៍ ព្រៃឡង់ ខេត្ត កំពង់ធំ ថា ដើមច្បោះជ័រ កំពុង ឈានទៅរក ក្ដីវិនាស | Prey Lang community in Kampong Thom says rubber trees in process of become extinct
RFA / វិទ្យុ អាស៊ី សេរី | ៧ កុម្ភៈ ២០១៨
Colonial hotel on Bokor gets facelift by Sokha
Phnom Penh Post | 7 February 2018
Sokha Hotel Group, the hospitality division of the Sokimex Investment Group, celebrated the opening of its newest hotel atop Kampot province’s Bokor Mountain on Monday.
The new luxury hotel is a renovated version of the historical 1920s Le Bokor Palace, built by French colonialists, and will retain the same name.
“Le Bokor Palace is a historic hotel that our country’s treasure, our company has fully refurbished the building, preserving the original features and recreating its colonial interior design,” said General Manager Frugerge Philippe in a press release.
This hotel is Sokha Group’s ninth hotel in Cambodia and its first in Kampot.
|President of the Senate of Cambodia Samdech Say Chhum (R) receives Vietnamese Ambassador to Cambodia Vu Quang Minh (Photo VNA)|
Vietnam National Assembly presents gift to Cambodian Senate
Vietnam Plus | 6 February 2018
Phnom Penh (VNA) – The National Assembly of Vietnam has presented the Cambodian Senate with computers, printers, and photocopiers worth over 140,000 USD.
Vietnamese Ambassador to Cambodia Vu Quang Minh handed over the gift to President of the Senate of Cambodia Samdech Say Chhum in Phnom Penh on February 6.
On the occasion, the Cambodian Senate President spoke highly of the cooperation achievements between the two countries’ Parties and States over the past time and expressed his pleasure over the sound traditional friendship that brings enormous benefits for the two people.
He took this occasion to thank the Vietnamese Party, State and people for helping Cambodian people escape from the Pol Pot genocide regime and revive the country [the CeePeePee's Hallelujah Chorus].
The close ties and active cooperation between the two governments and peoples not only contribute to the maintenance of peace and stability in the respective nations but also in the region and around the world, he said.
Earlier on February 5, President of the National Assembly of Cambodia Samdech Heng Samrin recieved the Vietnamese Ambassador, during which he called on the two countries’ people to promote the bilateral traditional friendship and cooperation in various fields.
Speaking at the meetings, Ambassador Minh extended the greetings of Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, President Tran Dai Quang, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, and National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan to the Cambodian top legislators.
He pledged to do his utmost in his working tenure to nurture the traditional friendship and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Cambodia.
The equipment presented by the Vietnamese NA will be used for senators elected for the new term of the Cambodian Senate during this month’s election. -VNA