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The Son My Father Sent To Birmingham

Greg Palast 

My dad called me over and said, "I want you to listen to this." It was 1965 and Martin Luther King was speaking about the three kinds of love as defined by the Greek philosophers. King's philosophy lesson was given in a church surrounded by angry white men who changed their white sheets for police uniforms and were prepared to burn down the church as they had done before.

King was on a march from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery.

My father told me, "You'll do that," meaning I'd go down South, I'd join the Freedom Riders, become a lawyer for King, a knight for justice in an unjust world.

But why didn't he go himself? Why didn't he join the march, join the fight? I know: kids, responsibility, furniture. He was a furniture salesman. Furniture didn't march. It sat there. It was sat upon. And the rich farted into the mattresses he sold them. The furniture store was locked from the inside by a poisonous fear of leaving life to chance.

So he put the burden of his quest on ...more

Travel Blog

Greg Palast 

Thomas Friedman’s Underpants

[New York] Von Eckardt, our chief investigator, joined me and Krugman in the green room. She’s a big fan of Paul’s and couldn’t wait to hear two of her favorite economics writers talk privately about the great issues of the day.

“I wring them out as absolutely tight as I can,” said Krugman, “and by the morning they’re just a little damp but you can still wear them.”

I had a different technique for stretching the supply of underwear on book tours: Wear them into the shower or, in a pinch, turn them inside out.

“There’s one guy that has a clean pair Fed-Ex’d to him every day and he puts the dirty ones in a return envelope.” The “guy,” of course, had to be Thomas Friedman. …more