11 Reasons People Need to Calm Down About Henry Kissinger and Hillary Clinton Already

Originally published August 30, 2016 on Paste
11 Reasons People Need to Calm Down About Henry Kissinger and Hillary Clinton Already
Photo courtesy of Getty

As usual, the Left has its workers-collective-manufactured panties all up in a bunch over Henry Kissinger. This time, the furor is over rumors that Hillary Clinton may be seeking an endorsement from the former Secretary of State.

But, to be fair, for many people, Henry Kissinger just can’t do anything right these days…or for the last four decades. If it’s not one thing, like backing a coup against the democratically elected Chilean government and ushering in a brutal dictatorship and cutting-edge torture techniques, or extending the Vietnam War by five years, or secretly bombing Cambodia and Laos, it’s another thing, like green-lighting the invasion of East Timor, which killed over 100,000 people, or wiretapping his political opponents, or supporting Pakistan’s military dictatorship, which killed between 200,000 and 3 million Bangladeshis.

We learn more and more about Kissinger’s accomplishments all the time. Earlier this month, newly declassified documents showed that Kissinger was even more supportive of the Argentine dictatorship than we knew. He didn’t merely ignore the government’s killing and/or disappearing as many as 30,000 people between 1976 and 1983; when he visited Argentina for the 1978 World Cup, as a guest of junta leader General Jorge Videla, he lauded the government for doing “an outstanding job in wiping out terrorist forces.” This praise, according to National Security Council official Robert Pastor, was “the music the Argentine government was longing to hear.”

And on Wednesday, the CIA released 2,500 previously classified President’s Daily Briefs (PDB) from the administrations of Nixon and Ford, both of which Kissinger served.

So, stay tuned for more revelations and more left wing hysteria. The good news is that some cooler heads are trying to prevail, and are making the bold case that Clinton’s wooing of the social butterfly of a war criminal would not be a “big f***ing deal,” to quote Joe Biden on the Affordable Care Act.

Let’s take a look at some of their most persuasive points.

1. The guy is a monster but…

Michael Cohen, known on Twitter as speechboy71, opens his article “How Democrats Can Learn to Stop Worrying and Still Hate Kissinger,” by saying, “Let me make one thing clear at the outset of this piece: I consider Henry Kissinger to be, morally speaking, a monstrous figure.”

Much like the phrase “I’m not racist but,” signals that a racist statement is soon forthcoming, Cohen’s condemnation suggests that a defense is imminent.

He cites Kissinger’s “backing of the Nixon administration’s illegal bombing campaign in Cambodia and the invasion of the country in 1970, along with his support for right-wing coups in Latin America and anti-Communist leaders in sub-Saharan Africa and the Far East, have deservedly defined his sordid legacy. And that’s not even counting perhaps his worst act while in public office—his actions in 1970 in support of the Pakistani genocide of Bengals in what is today Bangladesh.”

But Cohen goes on to say, “Why should we care about the foreign policy legacy of a guy who hasn’t held public office in 40 years? Well, it seems that in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, being pro- or anti-Kissinger has become a foreign policy litmus test for Democrats.” What gives, Dems?

2. Criticism is also monstrous.

Cohen notes that “the outcry among American liberals” over rumors of Clinton’s Kissinger-courting “was significant.” He deems the “antipathy” from the Left as “completely understandable,” and yet, simultaneously, “more than slightly outsized.” What is totally inappropriate and uncalled for, it should go without saying, is verbal lashing of any sort, especially the ones to which Clinton was subjected. As if we needed any reminding, Cohen takes us on a stroll down a dark and twisted memory lane: “Back in February, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton was lacerated by her then-rival Bernie Sanders for saying she considered Kissinger a friend.”

Cohen, is wrong, actually. Clinton in no way referred to Kissinger as a friend. The #HumbleKissingerBrag Clinton dropped during the Feb. 4 New Hampshire debate was professional, not personal: “I was very flattered when Henry Kissinger said I ran the State Department better than anybody had run it in a long time.”

Sanders did not strike back right away. Nebbish predator that he is, he waited until the next debate in Milkwaukee to pounce: “Secretary Clinton… talked about getting the approval or the support or the mentoring of Henry Kissinger. Now, I find it rather amazing, because I happen to believe that Henry Kissinger was one of the most destructive secretaries of state in the modern history of this country.”

Of all the sexist “violence” Bernie and his bros unleashed against Hillary Clinton, this ranks among the worst. If Hillary were a man, would Bernie have had the chutzpah to denounce…Henry Kissinger?

3. We’re all on the monster spectrum.

Cohen cautions us against judging Kissinger for his war-crime tendencies. After all, we’re all on a spectrum and lots of other political figures have dabbled in human rights violations. With a couple million deaths under his belt, Kissinger is, of course, especially prolific. But, Cohen writes, Kissinger “is hardly the first U.S. foreign policy figure with an odious past.” Cohen then goes through a who’s who list of powerful people with bloodied hands:

“The Eisenhower administration routinely supported anti-communist dictators… John F. Kennedy tried… to have… Fidel Castro assassinated and supported a coup attempt in South Vietnam that led to the death of the country’s president… Lyndon Johnson… initiated the U.S. war in Vietnam that ultimately led to the deaths of more than 1 million Vietnamese… Jimmy Carter, urged on by National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, began American arms shipments to the Afghan mujahedeen, with the clear goal of bloodying the nose of the invading Soviets and prolonging the conflict. The Reagan years saw support for the contras in Nicaragua and a right-wing government in El Salvador under which death squads massacred thousands of civilians.”

This is true. And yet… a bit apples and oranges in a few different ways. On a technical level, five of the six examples offered by Cohen are presidents, not the major foreign policy makers. Also, the whole “routinely support[ing] anti-communist dictators” is hardly unique to the presidency of Eisenhower. It was kind of a Cold War thing.

Sure, Eisenhower, LBJ, JFK, and Reagan all have some blood on their hands. You know what else they have in common? They’re dead. And, with all due respect to the dead, ghosts aren’t as easy to find and prosecute as the full-bodied, still-living Henry Kissinger. The human rights violations committed by our dearly departed lack the urgency of those committed by a man who has never apologized for a single crime against humanity and yet continues to be revered, respected, quoted, awarded, published, and invited to conferences, lecture halls, and fabulous parties.

4. You need to check your monster-dar, fam.

What Michael Cohen seems most outraged by, ironically enough, is the lack of outrage at people who are way worse than Kissinger.

All of this is not to say it’s wrong to loathe Kissinger. Indeed, I count myself among those who view him with contempt. But there are far worse people to get upset about when it comes to endorsing—and counseling—Clinton, many of whom have escaped the wrath of liberals now up in arms over her alleged outreach to the former secretary of state.

What’s odd is that nowhere in the entire piece does Cohen point to anyone “far worse,” who has or might endorse Clinton. You’d think this would be a good thing to include.

5. The guy is a war criminal but Clinton isn’t seeking his endorsement

The Daily Beast’s Michael Tomasky chose a headline so cavalier it makes Cohen’s look like it was written by a relative of a desaparecido: “Clinton Has Not Sought Henry Kissinger’s Support. But So What if She Had?”Tomasky wants readers to know there isn’t that much truth behind the rumor about Clinton’s seeking a Kissinger endorsement. “First things first: A source close to the Hillary Clinton campaign tells me that there has been no outreach to Henry Kissinger.” Like Cohen, Tomasky includes the obligatory “I get it. This guy has his issues” disclaimer about Kissinger. Using the whimsical tone that befits discussions of human rights violations and genocides, Tomasky writes:

Granted, Kissinger occupies a, ah, unique position. He’s a war criminal. Not convicted of course, but in my view and the view of millions. And although he has never faced the bar of international justice over East Timor or Chile or his sabotaging of the Paris Peace Talks, he is very careful about where he travels and lives with the ignominy of knowing that when The New York Times posts his obituary, there are going to be some well-earned negative adjectives in the very first paragraph.

This guy’s got some major negative adjectives coming to him… once he’s dead.

6. Endorsements! Good god, y’all! What are they good for?

Continue Reading…

WATCH: Alex Jones tells Raw Story he doesn’t like Trump ‘torture stuff’ — and ‘Hillary’s a big fat Goblin’

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Originally published June 22, 2016 on RawStory

I’ve been having a great time at the RNC. I took my photo with Herman Caine, Sean Hannity, and, as of this afternoon, got to interview Info Wars host Alex Jones on the street! I must say, his skin looked great. And I now  know why: he had just been given a moisturizing Turkish Dorean facial, which consists of comedian Jimmy Dore spitting Ice Tea in your face after you try to crash a live broadcast of The Young Turks.

Jones rolls thick and deep, surrounded by an entourage of dudes who look like they’ve booby-trapped their homes in preparation for a government invasion of their houses and at least one man who is an actual shofar-playing, born again Christian, with who I had spoken days before.  Yet I was able to talk to Jones as he and his crew walked down the streets. And I wasn’ even wearing my “Make America great again,” camo hat. Here is our exchange, presented without further commentary.

Katie Halper: Are you enjoying yourself?

Alex Jones: I like standing up against tyranny

KH: Where is the biggest threat of tyranny coming from?

AJ: From our globalists that are running our government into the ground.

KH: And between Hillary and Trump?

AJ: Or, there’s no choice, Trump all the way.

Shofar-Player: Hillary’s a witch, she’s into witch craft, she’s a jezebel. We all know who she is.

Continue reading and see the video…

Talk Bernie To Me: Bernie Takes Manhattan

Katie Halper Discussing NY Primary Election Results On The Young Turks

Published on Apr 20, 2016

 

Surprise! Author of viral ‘Becoming Anti-Bernie’ piece is corporate lawyer who defends hedge funds

image via Medium
image via Medium

Originally posted April 19, 2016 on RawStory

You may have seen this “On Becoming Anti-Bernie” piece, which is going around the internets. It’s one of the top three most popular posts on Medium’s politics section, has 1.4k likes, and over 600 comments. But who is the author? Robin Alperstein? She’s a corporate lawyer who specializes in defending hedge funds but also represents the occasional nanny-abusing, jet-setting, Chilean aristocratic Upper East Side couple.

Lest you think I’m bringing up Alperstein’s biography because I can’t rebut the substance of her argument, I’ll go through a mere sampling of its flaws.

Let’s start with one of her bald-faced lies. Alperstein writes that Sanders, “literally pushed his wife away from a lectern (‘don’t stand there!’) on the air.” Actually, Bernie gestured. He never touched her. And there is video. So Alperstein either didn’t watch it (is “lazy and unprepared,” which are literally the words she uses to describe Sanders) or she’s a liar.

Also, as a Clinton supporter, does Alperstein really want to make this election about the relationship between the candidate and his or her spouse. By all means, as a Bernie supporter, I’d be happy to.

But the piece is generally chock full of distortions and myths that persist despite lack of evidence: Sanders hasn’t accomplished anything (which is weird because he has and his nickname is the Amendment King); he never compromises (which is even weirder since Alperstein points to examples of compromise in the same piece); has no foreign policy experience (he has more foreign policy experience than Ronald Reagan or Barack Obama did when they ran for first election, was right on Iraq. And Clinton was wrong on Iraq, but to be fair, her being wrong shouldn’t be limited to that one incident. She’s also been wrong on Libya, Haiti and Honduras, where she legitimized a coup that has rendered the country the “murder capital of the world.”)

The piece also uses glaring double standards. It smears Sanders as “lazy,” while attacking Sanders for his tone. I guess she’s showing instead of telling. So, well played Alperstein. It attacks Sanders on his temperament, which is so important, it has its own “temperament” subsection: “Sanders is crotchety,” Alperstein writes. And, when questioned, he apparently becomes, “testy and sarcastic.” If temperament is fair game, that’s great news for Sanders supporters. Because we can now talk about Hillary’s cold yet fake, awkward yet disingenuous demeanor, yes?

Alperstein condescendingly writes that Sanders “doesn’t seem to have an ‘inside voice’.” Shall we talk about the cadence or volume of Clinton’s voice?

Perhaps my favorite critique is that he gets “red-faced.” I won’t dignify this by responding to it beyond saying talking about a candidate’s physical appearance is not a good look.

OK. Now back to Alperstein. Who is she, you ask? Well, she’s a partner at Becker Glynn. And, according to the website, she specializes in

Continue Reading…

The Katie Halper Show Live! #BernieMadeMeWhite with Erika Andiola, Leslie Lee, Jacob Bridge

This month’s show features guests who shatter the myth of the Bernie Bro, the alleged white male millennials, living in their parents’ basements, harassing women online and supporting Bernie Sanders. Leslie Lee, a Black writer and teacher was so frustrated with the misrepresentation of Sanders fans and the erasure of his supporters of color, he created the spot on and very funny #BernieMadeMeWhite hashtag, which went viral. Erika Andiola is a dreamer, organizer and she happens to be a National Press Secretary for Bernie Sanders Campaign for President. Jacob Bridge, a VeteranForBernie and conscientious objector who has organized around LGBT rights, is also far from a Bernie Bro. So, come, learn, laugh, nosh and drink at this live and free talk show! livestream here https://livestream.com/thecommons/events/5125512

Wednesday, April 6 at 6:00 p.m. at Brooklyn Commons (388 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, New York 11217)

#BernieMadeMeWhite: Meet the Black writer who called out the media for erasing people of color

image via Leslie Lee III
Image via Leslie Lee III
Originally posted on March 28, 2016 on RawStory

Leslie Lee III is a writer and English teacher from Baton Rouge, LA who lives in Yokahama, Japan with his wife, Kelly, and their dog, Taco. His writing ranges from essays and articles on politics and Japanese wrestling, to the novel he is working on with his father about Kentucky’s Black coal miners. But according to some sources, Lee does not actually exist. He’s a figment of the imagination. Because he’s both Black and a supporter of Bernie Sanders.

The nice thing about the notion of the unbearable whiteness of being a Sanders supporter is that it doesn’t need to be based in reality. On Saturday, for example, CNN attributed Sanders’ landslide victories in Alaska, Hawaii and Washington primaries to the whitey-mcwhiteyness of the states:

These caucus states — largely white and rural — are the type of places Sanders traditionally does well. In order to win the nomination, he must replicate this success in other, more ethnically diverse states that hold primaries, as he did in Michigan last month. In theory, it’s possible. But the reality is tough.

Likewise, in theory, it’s possible to portray these states as white. But the reality is tough. Because they’re not. Washington state is literally the seventh most diverse state in the Nation. Two (if not three) of the five most diverse counties in the country are found in Alaska, which CNN itself described as “the most diverse place in America,” in an article in January. And Hawaii, according the Pew Research Center,

stands out… more than any other state… when it comes to its racial and ethnic diversity… The Rainbow State has never had a white majority. In fact, non-Hispanic whites, the largest group in most states, account for only 23% of the population, according to 2013 census figures.

But you know the old adage, necessity (to correct irresponsible journalism and media bias) is the mother of (viral) invention. And So, Mr. Lee launched his epic #BernieMadeMeWhite hashtag, mocking the idea that all supporters of Sanders are white. Its debut appearance was:

 

I decided I would ask Mr. Lee, or @tokyovampires as he’s known on Twitter,  about what inspired the hashtag, though merely ignoring it and him would have been a very meta demonstration of the very erasure he’s protesting.

He explained, “The common narrative in this election that Bernie has a ‘minority problem’ or that all his supporters are ‘bros’ is pervasive, and insulting to the POCs [People of Color] and women who support [him].” But, “it hit a peak… when Hawaii, the least white state in the nation, retroactively became white or ‘not diverse’ due to the fact that Bernie won it. So, I started #BernieMadeMeWhite.”  And, Lee tweeted to me, “since my real existence as a black person who supports Bernie is ignored…  might as well embrace my new whiteness.”

Lee was kind enough to answer some more questions over e-mail, probably out of a sense of solidarity, since I’m a female Bernie bro and don’t really exist either.

Continue Reading…

 

Larry David has the best rebuttal for people accusing Bernie Sanders of hiding his Jewish identity

LarryDavidDec09

Originally posted on March 25, 2016 on RawStory

Countless people, newspapers, pundits, self-appointed definers of all things Jewish have challenged, questioned or even denied Bernie Sanders’ Jewish identity… because it’s a Friday. Speaking of which, good shabbos!

It’s hard to keep up with all the self-righteous attacks and denouncements lobbed at Sanders but one of my favorites from this week alone was the nuanced and understated headline which graced the schlock-filled right wing rag that is Front Page:

HOW BERNIE SANDERS SOLD HIS SOUL TO BE AN AUTHENTIC LEFTIST

This soul selling was, of course, a reference to Sanders’ decision not to the annual AIPAC conference.

But I don’t want to leave out Jeffrey Goldberg, whose condescending and catty tweets about how Jewish identity is appropriately defined, was stunningly unaware. Goldberg tweeted truth to power during the Sanders-Clinton debate in Flint Michigan from earlier this month when host Anderson Cooper said the following:

Just this weekend there was an article I read in the Detroit News saying that you keep your Judaism in the background, and that’s disappointing some Jewish leaders. Is that intentional?

(Because if there is one publication that represents THE JEWS it’s definitely the Detroit News or DN, as we Jews like to call it. And if there is one group of people who speaks for the Jews, it’s definitely “some Jewish leaders.” But that’s neither here nor though, so moving on.) Bernie made the mistake of saying that part of his Jewish identity was shaped by the Holocaust, during which his father’s side of the family was “wiped out.” Well, that didn’t sit too well with Jeffrey Goldberg, who sanctimoniously tweeted:

Continue Reading…

The Katie Halper Show Live on International Women’s Day

In defense of grave dancing: It’s true that Scalia was a human being, but I still refuse to mourn a-holes like him politely

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Ronald Reagan, Antonin Scalia, Margaret Thatcher (Credit: AP/Doug Mills/Haraz N. Ghanbari/Charles Tasnadi/Photo montage by Salon)

When a public figure we loathe dies, we’re expected to observe a certain level of decorum. Here’s why that’s wrong

Originally posted February 18, 2016 on Salon

Like many people, I found out about the death of Antonin Scalia through social media, a Facebook chat to be specific. “DUDE! Scalia may be dead,” my friend messaged me.” After a few minutes of silence, my friend returned, in all caps, once again, to proclaim, “HE’S DEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

While Scalia’s unexpected death provoked a pseudo-constitutional crisis among the right wing, it provoked an existential crisis in me. I felt simultaneously happy, relieved, hopeful and guilty. He’s someone’s father! Someone’s husband! RBG’s bestie and opera partner! Even worse than what I felt was what I wanted to do! “OMG!” I typed to my friend. “Would a listicle of Scalia’s Worst Quotes be the worst?” Ironically enough, my friend’s verdict was Scalian; swift, punishing and punctuated with hyperbole and exclamation points: “NO! YOU MUST DO IT!” F&*( DECORUM!”

A woman of checks and balances, I sought counsel from other sources via other means of communication. I skyped an editor to ask for her ruling on the issue. Her judgment was Kennedyian and moderate: She urged me to wait 24 hours, reminding me that “dancing on people’s grave [was] not a good look.” When I texted another friend, a journalist, he concurred with the editor, writing, “I wouldn’t celebrate it.”

The majority, it seemed, had ruled. It would be in poor taste and bad judgment, an ethical breach, to openly rejoice about Scalia’s death.

I had no grounds for appeal. The decision was final… or so it seemed.

But then, I felt a flickering of hope, as I saw a flickering of light from my cellphone. With bated breath, I watched as dots of i-message judgment popped up on my screen. The journalist, it seemed, hadn’t finished his ruling: He thought I could make the argument that his death may have “saved the planet” with the court now unlikely to strike down Obama’s far-reaching emissions plan. “He was a bigot who made millions of people suffer.” With this Breyersian analysis, my friend granted my piece, which I had planned to kill, a last-minute reprieve.

I decided I’d “nudge, if not totally violate, decorum. I compiled some of the late justice’s most “memorable quotes.” I can’t say I’m proud of my word choice. The cop-out-est of adjectives, “memorable” allowed me a convenient vagueness. But, in all fairness, Scalia’s equal opportunity bigotry made it hard to come up with a headline-length title that did him any justice: “Scalia’s most homophobic and/or sexist and/or racist and/or savage decisions, quotes or off-the-cuff statements” is a mouthful.

The guilt I felt over turning Scalia’s death into shareable content started to dissipate as I sorted through the bottomless pit of sexism, homophobia and racism that was his legacy.  His cruel and draconian incarceration opinions, which had caused so much suffering, now offered me comfort, solace, conviction and a sense of righteousness.

But what really emboldened me was his near fetish for death and the death penalty. Not only did Scalia defend capital punishment for youth and people with mental disabilities, he also has famously said, out loud, that it wasn’t unconstitutional to execute the innocent as long as they had a fair trial: “[t]his court has never held that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who has had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is ‘actually’ innocent.”

Why should Scalia, who was so brazen about his disregard for human life, even innocent life, deserve respectful or solemn commemoration in the public sphere?

Scalia wasn’t merely defending the death penalty in theory as an acceptable and appropriate punishment for guilty people; he was defending it for the innocent if it came to that. And, as one of the nine people on the Supreme Court, his ideas contributed and buttressed the state-sanctioned murder of innocent people.

Surely, whatever deficit of empathy I revealed paled in comparison to Scalia’s chasm of compassion. If he could sleep soundly with the deaths of innocents on his mind, who was I to feel guilty about a death I had nothing to do with. It seemed wrong. And also, profoundly un-Scalia-like. And that was when it occurred to me: What better way to honor the late justice than by asking #WWSD? What would Scalia do? The answer was obvious: He’d react to the loss of human life with heartlessness, cruelty and adherence to his own conviction.

To be fair, this issue of how to mark the passing of the wicked and depraved does not belong to Scalia alone. The question of public celebration of death was raised when Osama bin Laden was assassinated. I’m in no way comparing Scalia and bin Laden, but the contrast between the two sheds light on how and why society determines norms around mourning. I did not celebrate the death of bin Laden because we have laws to deal with outlaws and trials to teach defendants and the public about the nature of crime and punishment. But most Americans rejoiced at the death of a man who masterminded an attack on the United States that killed 3,000 people.

The truth is, these norms are based on politics, vested interests, an unquestioning acceptance of the status quo and powers that be. They are not based on ethical principles or moral absolutes.  How many leaders have ordered the killing of thousands of civilians? When the leaders are ours, we call it collateral damage. When the leaders are our enemies, we call it murder.

There are, of course, rules of engagement and the rule of law. And Scalia isn’t technically a murderer. As a judge, he gets to implement state-sanctioned murder, also called the law. But as any student of civil rights history knows, the issues of legality and justice are separate. What Martin Luther King did was illegal. But it wasn’t unjust. What Scalia did may have been legal but it was unjust. And because he was a judge, Scalia had the power to codify his own murderous behavior, enshrining it into the law.

But let us return to the question of whether the late justice, despite his numerous crimes and offenses, still deserves to be mourned with some level of decorum. After lengthy analysis and hand-wringing, I can only conclude: hell no! It is hypocritical and sanctimonious to require anyone to grant Scalia the compassion he relished denying others. Mourning itself becomes distasteful and disrespectful when the person who has died was not simply a flawed person or a misunderstood person or a deeply misguided person, but a person whose life and legacy were built on the pain, damage, humiliation and injustice he caused others and our world at large.

When we decorously mourn Scalia, or other powerful and public figures like him, what are we doing to the family members and loved ones of those people whose appeals Scalia voted against? Is there not something morbid about mourning a (state-sanctioned) murderer?

If only our culture cared as much about the lives of the living as it does the lives of the dead, or the unborn, for that matter. The culture of decorum that elevates a person’s life after death is, in some way, a perfect corollary to the culture of “life.”

Our tradition of mourning, rooted in religion, has codified centuries of war and pillage. Paying homage to people once they are dead doesn’t absolve us from killing them. Death cannot and should not change history. Solemnifying and ennobling the act of leaving the mortal sphere has the dishonest and painful effect of whitewashing the actions of those who were hateful, destructive, or worse. The damage wrought by people like Scalia will long outlive them.

Rest in peace can’t undo a career’s worth of damage; and pointing this out is not an act of disrespect. Ignoring it is.

Unlike Scalia or our leaders, however, I don’t believe the desire for vengeance should be embraced on a legal or policy level. I know Scalia was very Catholic in his thinking and siring (of nine children). And I, on the other hand, am a godless Jew. But when I heard about Scalia’s death, I immediately thought of a Christian hymn, of all things. Written in 1869 by the American Baptist minister Robert Wadsworth Lowry, “My Life Flows on in Endless Song (How Can I Keep From Singing)” was amended by Quaker Doris Penn, popularized by the folk singer Pete Seeger and, later, the new-age singer Enya. Since I’m not a strict constructionist, I will quote the verse that Penn added nearly a century after it was first written:

When tyrants tremble, sick with fear,

And hear their death-knell ringing,

When friends rejoice both far and near,

How can I keep from singing?

In prison cell and dungeon vile,

Our thoughts to them are winging;

When friends by shame are undefiled,

How can I keep from singing?