november 2010 header
news notes

*Brazil Can Do It. Why Can’t We?
The Brazilian government is investing $5.5 billion in renewable energy resources by 2013. How the country did it is fascinating, it bolsters private enterprise and its success confirms, says Brazil’s National Electricity Regulatory Agency director Nelson Hübner, that “it is possible to produce wind energy at a price that is competitive with those of thermal plants, which are more polluting.”

Theodore "Ted" Sorsensen
—presidential advisor, lawyer, writer, special counsel and adviser to President John F. Kennedy who called him his "intellectual blood bank"—died on October 30 following a stroke. During his years in the White House, Sorensen was not only a witness to history, his speeches helped shape it, as did his counsel during the Cuban missile crisis, when he helped tailor the President's correspondence with Russian premier Nikita Khrushchev and worked on Kennedy's initial address to the nation about the crisis. From The Guardian, Ed Vilade remembers Sorensen and marks his death as an occasion that “provides us with a melancholy, yet valuable, occasion to appraise and appreciate the qualities of intellect and character that made him John F Kennedy's indispensable man, and the speechwriter's patron saint.” In an interview with Jane Greer from the Unitarian church website, Sorensen discusses the issue of JFK’s Catholicism in the 1960 Presidential race with Richard Nixon, the role of the Unitarian faith in Sorensen’s own life and how Unitarian values influenced his speechwriting for Kennedy. Finally, in “On the Cuban Missile Crisis,” a Q&A session with an interviewer from George Washington University, Sorensen discusses the critical 13-day standoff with the Soviet Union over the latter’s installation of missiles in Cuba, when JFK was being pressed by some in the government to launch an all-out strike on Cuba, which would have precipitated a nuclear war, and the President’s determination to stand firm on his decision to institute a naval blockade as a means to start a dialogue with the Russians, ‘and President Kennedy wanted a dialogue to accompany his use of deterrents,’ Sorensen recalls. A fascinating inside look at the wisdom of JFK displayed under pressure that saved the world from possible nuclear annihilation in 1962.

rocky*Those Were The Days, My Friend: Three significant artists who worked in television and made an indelible mark on our pop cultural history have passed away. This month we honor the lives and work of: BARBARA BILLINGSLEY, the unflappable mother of the Cleaver clan in Leave It To Beaver (and famous later for her small but unforgettable role in Airplaine! Hint: ‘I speak jive.’); ALEX ANDREWS, the illustrator who created Rocky the Flying Squirrel, Bullwinkle (‘Fan mail from some flounder?’), and Boris and Natasha; JAMES MACARTHUR, (‘Book ‘em, Dan-o!’) of Hawaii Five-O fame.

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