I lived with the seriousness of someone who has caught a tiger by the tail. Once you have caught hold of a tiger’s tail, you have to follow it all the way to the end, on pain of being eaten alive. Kim Tschang-Yuel (1929-2021), painter of water drops.
From an interview with critic and curator Michel Enrici published in 2018 and cited in The New York Times, “Kim Tschang-Yeul, 91, Dies; Painted Water Drops Swollen With Meaning,” updated January 19, 2021.
Kim Tschang-yeul (December 24, 1929–January 5, 2021) was a French-Korean artist known for his abstract paintings of water droplets.
“The advent of the new president changed everything. The Roosevelts transformed the White House as completely as the swift march of public thoughts and events had changed the country. No longer did the Executive Mansion resemble a medieval castle besieged by the forces of progress. The drawbridges were figuratively let down, and the moats drained of their timeworn prejudices. The archers of reaction withdrew from their turrets, and the victorious New Deal army took over the battlements.” George Abell and Evelyn Gordon, Let Them Eat Caviar, Dodge Publishing Co., New York, 1937.
“Even that son of a bitch looks impressive in that getup!” Alice Roosevelt Longworth (1884-1980), at the White House after visiting President Warren Harding in the Oval Office. Quoted in Katherine Graham’s Washington, Knopf, 2002.
Alice Roosevelt was President Teddy Roosevelt’s oldest child and the only child of Roosevelt and his first wife, Alice Hathaway Lee, who died in childbirth. Alice grew up to be an independent, unconventional and outspoken “first daughter” and was an important figure in the women’s movement in the first half of the 20th century. Alice Longworth was perfectly realistic about Harding—his inner circle called him “no world-beater, but he’s the best of the second-raters” (Sen. Brandegee of Connecticut)— and didn’t like the Republican president much for it.
“[The Wilsons] finally settled on a house in the 2300 block of S Street, Northwest, and purchased it…[W]e rode by everyday, and the President was eager as a bridegroom about getting back to private life. He seemed to gain new strength as he shed the idea of responsibility and assumed the freedom of a civilian. But he did not forget his dreams.” Colonel Edmund W. Starling, Starling of the White House…as told to Thomas Sugrue…, Simon & Schuster.
Colonel Edmund William Starling (1875-1944) was chief of the Secret Service detail in the White House from 1914 to 1943. In his thirty years of service at the White House he was responsible for the personal safety of five President of the United States—Woodrow Wilson, Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Starling idolized Woodrow Wilson. His first exposure to Wilson left him “in a daze.” Born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, the posthumous book is based on over 11,000 personal letters Starling wrote over the decades, mostly to his mother back home. Starling’s ashes are buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
“As Senate majority leader, I participated in many private conferences with President Franklin D. Roosevelt….Usually we would talk in his bedroom at the White House, and the President, wrapped in his cherished gray bathrobe, which he clung to year after year….would interrupt work on a pile of papers and puff at a cigarette through his long ivory holder as we exchanged views.” Alben W. Barkley (1877-1956), That Reminds Me, 1954.
Senator Barkley (later Vice President Barkley under President Harry S. Truman) describes an almost iconic FDR- one can almost imagine a bespectacled 32nd president smoking a cigarette from a long cigarette (in this instance, ivory) holder and jauntily thrusting his chin forward.
Alben W. Barkley, Democrat of Kentucky, was one of the most prominent American politicians of the first half of the 20th Century. Barkley hoped expectantly to someday be the U.S. President–or at least his party’s sometime presidential nominee, particularly in 1952. The longtime majority leader of the U.S. Senate had to settle, however, for being a one-term vice-president in the executive branch. After Truman chose Barkley to be his running mate in 1948 and that ticket triumphed in one of American history’s most astounding upsets, Alben Barkley became a popular national figure known everywhere as “The Veep.” Like his Kentucky forebear Abraham Lincoln, Vice President Barkley was a noted story-teller and often started his sentence with, “And that reminds me…”
“It was all gone now-the life-affirming, life-enhancing zest, the brilliance, the wit, the cool commitment, the steady purpose….[President Kennedy] had so little time: it was as if Jackson had died before the nullification controversy and the Bank War, as if Lincoln had been killed six months after Gettysburg or Franklin Roosevelt at the end of 1935 or Truman before the Marshall Plan.” Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. (1917-2007) on the death of JFK. From A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House, Houghton Mifflin, 1965.
Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. was an American historian who resigned from Harvard and was appointed Special Assistant to the President in the Kennedy Administration in January 1961. Per Kennedy’s desire, Schlesinger served as a sort of ad hoc roving reporter and troubleshooter on behalf of the president. In February 1961, Schlesinger was told of the plans for what developed into the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion in April 1961 and wrote a memorandum to the president telling him that he opposed the action. During the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962 Schlesinger aided United Nations ambassador Adlai Stevenson on his presentation to the world body on behalf of the Kennedy Administration’s ultimately successful efforts to peacefully remove Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba. On November 22, 1963, Schlesinger had flown to New York for a luncheon with Washington Post owner Katharine Graham and the editors of her magazine, Newsweek. As they still sipped pre-luncheon libations and amiably talked about upcoming college football games that weekend, a young man in shirtsleeves suddenly entered the gathering. He tentatively announced to the group that, as Schlesinger relates in A Thousand Days, “the President has been shot in the head in Texas.”
“[George Washington’s] mind was great and powerful, without being of the very first order; his penetration strong, though not so acute as that of a Newton, Bacon, or Locke; and as far as he saw, no judgment was ever sounder. It was slow in operation, being little aided by invention or imagination, but sure in conclusion.” Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), U.S. president, Letter, January 1814.
After returning from France where he served as Minister Plenipotentiary with John Adams and Benjamin Franklin in Paris in the mid-to-late 1780’s, Thomas Jefferson accepted President George Washington’s invitation to serve as the nation’s first Secretary of State in the early 1790’s. Jefferson eventually left Washington’s cabinet over his opposition to Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton’s promotion of a national debt and national bank in contrast to Jefferson’s vision of a minimalist federal government (see Joseph J. Ellis, American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson, Random House, 1996, pp. 221-222). Thomas Jefferson was elected the third president of the United States in 1800 and served two terms as president. In 1803 Jefferson transacted the Louisiana Purchase that doubled the size of the United States and in the process acquired the most fertile tract of land of its size on Earth.
Derek Worlock (February 4, 1920 – February 6. 1996) was an English priest in the Roman Catholic Church and the Archbishop of Liverpool.
Worlock was committed to collaboration with all his fellow Christians. Worlock co-authored the books Better Together and With Hope in our Hearts (1995) with the Anglican Bishop of Liverpool, David Sheppard. Worklock’s motto was Caritas Christi eluceat (“For the Shining Light of Christ”).
In 1994 Archbishop Worlock was awarded the Freedom of the City of Liverpool award and appointed as a Companion of Honour in 1996. At his death that year, a memorial for him was planned. It was commissioned in 2005 and made possible through public donations. It was designed by British sculptor Stephen Broadbent (b. 1961). The memorial is situated at the halfway point of Liverpool’s Hope Street. Hope Street joins both the Anglican and Roman Catholic cathedrals. See it here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/newfolder/2535308455
The aim of the statue was to create a lasting memorial to the work of the two religious leaders—Catholic archbishop Worklock and Anglican Bishop David Sheppard— who aimed to heal their churches’ deep religious divisions and serve as a unifying force in Liverpool.
I am my brother’s keeper, and he’s sleeping pretty rough these days. London OBSERVER, December 16, 1990. (On the homeless).
Sheppard-Worlock Statue by Stephen Broadbent. Above: Catholic Archbishop Derek Worlock. Commissioned in 2005 and paid for with public donations, the statue sits halfway between the Catholic and Anglican cathedrals that are both situated on Hope Street in Liverpool. The statue memorializes the two religious leaders who worked together as a unifying force to heal religious divisions among their churches and in the city. Below: Anglican bishop David Sheppard.
Coat of Arms, Most Rev. Derek Worlock, Metropolitan Archbishop of Liverpool. It contains Worklock’s motto: Caritas Christi eluceat (“For the Shining Light of Christ”).
PHOTO SOURCES: File: Detail full length Sheppard-Worlock Statue 2017-2.jpg CreatorRodhullandemu License CC BY-SA 4.0 Source WikiCommons.
File: Detail from the statue of Derek Worlock, the former Catholic Archbishop of Liverpool 2.jpg Created: 18 September 2008 CC BY-SA 2.0
File: Detail from the Sheppard-Worlock statue Liverpool. Anglican Bishop David Sheppard. Man vyi – Self-photographed. Own work, all rights released (Public domain)/
Somebody has got our horses. Reaction to violation of surrender treaty terms by U.S. Government.
“When the terms of surrender were violated by the government, [Chief] Joseph did not dig up the tomahawk and go on the warpath again…. He…. spoke with a straight tongue , and was a gentleman of his word. Nor did he blame [Maj. Gen. O. O.] Howard or [Col. Nelson A.] Miles for what his people suffered. He remarked only the above. (Quoted in Saga of Chief Joseph, H. A. Howard, University of Nebraska Press, 1978, p. 348.)
If you tie a horse to a stake, do you expect him to grow fat? If you pen an Indian up on a small spot of earth, and compel him to stay there, he will not be contented, nor will he grow and prosper. I have asked some of the great white chiefs where they get their authority to say to the Indian that he shall stay in one place, while he sees white men going where they please. They cannot tell me. Chief Joseph (c.1840-1904), Nez Percé, North American Review, Cedar Falls, Iowa, April 1879.
The gravesite of Chief Joseph. Photograph by author.
My son, never forget my dying words, this country holds your father’s body. Never sell the bones of your father and mother. Chief Joseph (c.1840-1904), Nez Percé. To his son on defending his homeland and people.
One day John XXIII visited the Hospital of the Holy Spirit in Rome. Deeply stirred by the pope’s visit, the mother superior whose nuns administered the hospital, went up to introduce herself. “Most Holy Father,” she announced, “I am the Superior of the Holy Spirit!” “Well, I must say you’re lucky,” the pope said. “I’m only the Vicar of Jesus Christ!”Wit and Wisdom of Good Pope John, collected by Henri Fesquet.
“Giovanni, why don’t you sleep? Is it the Pope or the Holy Spirit who governs the church? It’s the Holy Spirit, no? Well, then, go to sleep, Giovanni!” Wit and Wisdom of Good Pope John, collected by Henri Fesquet.
Featured Image: Henry Miller, Paris. Photography by Brassaï, 1931.
We have two American flags always: one for the rich and one for the poor. When the rich fly it, it means that things are under control; when the poor fly it, it means danger, revolution, anarchy. The Air-Conditioned Nightmare (1945).
The world dies over and over again, but the skeleton always gets up and walks.The Wisdom of the Heart, “Uterine Hunger,” (1941).
Actually we are a vulgar, pushing mob whose passions are easily mobilized by demagogues, newspaper men, religious quacks, agitators and the like. To call this a society of free peoples is blasphemous. What have we to offer the world besides the superabundant loot which we recklessly plunder from the earth under the maniacal delusion that this insane activity represents progress and enlightenment?The Air-Conditioned Nightmare, Preface (1945) on the people of the U.S.
Perhaps I am still very much an American. That is to say, naïve, optimistic, gullible…In the eyes of a European, what am I but an American to the core, an American who exposes his Americanism like a sore. Like it or not, I am a product of this land of plenty, a believer in superabundance, a believer in miracles.Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymous Bosch (part 3), “Paradise Lost,” 1957.
Feature Image: Joshua with Moses, stained glass panel, 15th century, Church of St. Lawrence, Nuremberg, Germany.
The Book of Joshua is the sixth book in the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament. It is the first book of the Deuteronomistic history or the story of Israel from the conquest of Canaan to the Babylonian exile. It contains many different kinds of highly synthesized and edited literary materials. These include various etiologies (explanations of customs, institutions, landmarks, etc.) and battle narratives. These materials are thereby complex from a literary perspective.
The Book of Joshua relates the military campaigns of the Israelites in central, southern and northern Canaan. It tells of the destruction of their enemies and the division of the land among the Twelve Tribes. These developments are conveyed by two set-pieces—the first by God commanding the conquest of the land (Chapter 1) and, the second, by Joshua exhorting the people to a faithful observance of the Law revealed to Moses (Chapter 23).
Is the Book of Joshua of historical value? Clearly historical, the Israelites gained control of Canaan—and the book relates that it was accomplished by a series of battle victories which is not unreasonable to presume. The book’s broad narrative is generally to be founded on history.
The Book of Joshua also contains many creations of the popular imagination or folklore which makes the historical reliance on its details presented as fact in the narrative not indisputable. Where the meagerness of materials is present, however, the ancient compilers and editors did not elaborate based on broad or simple textual statements but moderated descriptions to the available details. Today’s modern archaeology, while able to provide insight into human activity in Canaan throughout this time period (13th century BCE and later), the historical quest to establish a clear, concrete connection to episodes mentioned in the Book of Joshua by this science can be hard to support.
The figure of Joshua in the role of significant military leader is integral to the narrative and found in the most ancient, original text (i.e., his role in the formation of the 12-tribe league at Shecham, Chapter 24), among other examples. All factors point to Joshua’s significant role in the conquest.
In terms of the Book of Joshua’s religious aspects there are several layers of religious tradition that are held in common but with singular or special emphases. The book relates the conquest as an act of God. For man, the act of conquest or “holy war” was closely associated to an act of worship though that idea was based on an older, primitive religious practice that was not practiced at least by the time the Book of Joshua was completed in the mid6th century BCE. The Book of Joshua also conveys another religiously primitive idea–that of collective guilt (Chapter 7).
Religious tradition is expressed in the ideas of God’s covenant and that morality is based on obedience to the Law as part of their close personal relationship to God. In chapters 13 to 21 which were added later, the book expresses God’s fidelity to the Israelites to the point of restoration of total possession of the land although while in exile that idea would be a dream. The idea of a future Israel that is restored was further embellished religiously—such as the 12 tribes gathered to worship at the sanctuary and providing carefully for its tribal priests (Chapter 22).
Joshua’s speech ends the book with a warning about the future (Chapter 23) though the following and last chapter added later ends differently. In that last chapter the people of Israel proclaim their choice to serve God (Joshua 24:24) and that the choice of Israel to be in relationship with God is a free one (24:15). The narrative of the Book of Joshua closes with Joshua’s death at the age of 110 years old and his burial among the heritage of the descendants of Joseph (24: 29, 32).
SOURCE: The Jerome Biblical Commentary, edited by Raymond E. Brown, S.S., Joseph A Fitzmeyer, S.J., and Roland E. Murphy, O. Carm., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1968.
12 It was then, when the LORD delivered up the Amorites to the Israelites, that Joshua prayed to the LORD, and said in the presence of Israel: Sun, stand still at Gibeon, Moon, in the valley of Aijalon! 13 The sun stood still, the moon stayed, while the nation took vengeance on its foes. Joshua 10:12-13.
24When they brought the five kings out to Joshua, he summoned all the army of Israel and said to the commanders of the soldiers who had marched with him, “Come forward and put your feet on the necks of these kings.” They came forward and put their feet upon their necks. 25Then Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid or dismayed, be firm and steadfast. This is what the LORD will do to all the enemies against whom you fight.” 26Thereupon Joshua struck and killed the kings, and hanged them on five trees, where they remained hanging until evening. Joshua 10: 24-26.
Featured Image: George Gordon (Lord Byron) by Richard Westall (1765-1836). National Portrait Gallery, London.
Lord Byron (George Gordon), 1788-1824, Letter to poet Thomas Moore, October 28, 1815. Byron’s Letters and Journals, vol. 4 (1973-81; edited by Leslie A. Marchand).
Lord Byron (George Gordon), 1788-1824, Byron’s Letters and Journals, vol. 8 (1973-81; edited by Leslie A. Marchand).
Out of chaos God made a world, and out of high passions comes a people. Lord Byron (George Gordon), 1788-1824, Byron was describing the early nationalist fervor in Italy for which the poet played an active role. Byron’s Letters and Journals, vol. 8 (1973-81; edited by Leslie A. Marchand).
I do detest everything that is not perfectly mutual. Lord Byron (George Gordon), 1788-1824, Letter, October 21, 1813. Byron’s Letters and Journals, vol. 3 (1973-81; edited by Leslie A. Marchand).
I only go out to get me a fresh appetite for being alone. Lord Byron (George Gordon), 1788-1824, Journal, December 12, 1813. Byron’s Letters and Journals, vol. 3 (1973-81; edited by Leslie A. Marchand).
Lord Byron (George Gordon), 1788-1824, Journal, March 22, 1814. Byron’s Letters and Journals, vol. 3 (1973-81; edited by Leslie A. Marchand).
In solitude, where we are LEAST alone. Lord Byron (George Gordon), 1788-1824, Childe Harold, canto 3, stanza 90.
Lord Byron (George Gordon), 1788-1824, Byron’s Letters and Journals, vol. 8 (1973-81; edited by Leslie A. Marchand).
Lord Byron (George Gordon), 1788-1824, Byron’s Letters and Journals, volume 9, edited by Leslie A. Marchand, 1979. The journal entry was written on Byron’s final journey to aid the Greek revolt.
If we must have a tyrant, let him at least be a gentleman who has been bred to the business, and let us fall by the axe and not by the butcher’s cleaver. Lord Byron (George Gordon), 1788-1824, Letter, February 21, 1820 to John Murray, publisher. Byron’s Letters and Journals, volume 7, edited by Leslie A. Marchand, 1973-1981.
Are we aware of our obligations to a mob? It is the mob that labour in your fields and serve in your houses–that man your navy, and recruit your army–that have enabled you to defy the world, and can also defy you when neglect and calamity have driven them to despair. You may call the people a mob; but do not forget that a mob too often speaks the sentiments of the people. Lord Byron (George Gordon), 1788-1824, First speech to the House of Lords, February 27, 1812 on the topic of Luddite machine-wreckers.
The French courage proceeds from vanity—the German from phlegm—the Turkish from fanaticism & opium—the Spanish from pride—the English from coolness—the Dutch from obstinacy—the Russian from insensibility—but the Italian from anger. Lord Byron (George Gordon), 1788-1824, Letter, August 31, 1820, to publisher John Murray. Published in Byron’s Letters and Journals, volume 7, ed. Leslie A. Marchand , 1973-1981.
It is by far the most elegant worship, hardly excepting the Greek mythology. What with incense, pictures, statues, altars, shrines, relics, and the real presence, confession, absolution, –there is something sensible to grasp at. Besides, it leaves no possibility of doubt; for those who swallow their Deity, really and truly, in transubstantiation, can hardly find any thing else otherwise than easy of digestion. Lord Byron (George Gordon), 1788-1824, Letter, March 8, 1822 to poet Thomas Moore. Byron explained that he was bringing up one of his own daughters, Allegra, a Catholic.
It is useless to tell one not to reason but to believe — you might as well tell a man not to wake but sleep. Lord Byron (George Gordon), 1788-1824, Detached Thoughts, no. 96, 1821-22.
I would rather…have a nod from an American, than a snuff box from an emperor. Lord Byron (George Gordon), 1788-1824, letter, June 8, 1822, to poet Thomas Moore.
Featured Image: John Keats (detail) by Joseph Severn (1793-1879), 1819.
John Keats’s first book of poems was published in 1817 when the English poet was 22 years old. From an early age, Keats, studying under the literary Rev. John Clarke, became a passionate reader of poetry and was introduced to the theater and music which he loved. Though both of his parents had died by the time Keats was in his early teens, their respectable estate never reached him in his short lifetime. His guardian sent the minor Keats to work in the medical field. But in 1813, the young Keats abandoned that apprenticeship for another — and began to write poetry.
Keats’ early poetic mentor was Leigh Hunt (1784-1859), editor of the Examiner, who introduced Keats to great established poets such as William Hazlitt (1778-1830), Charles Lamb (1775-1834), and Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822). Keats also made the acquaintance of painter Benjamin Robert Haydon (1786-1846) and made other intimate lifelong friends. In 1816 Keats wrote his first major sonnet (On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer) in which he laid out an ambitious plan for his poetry.
In 1817 Keats wrote the 4,000-line Endymion though, ever a perfectionist, Keats considered it merely a poetic exercise. Keats soon isolated himself consciously from others to benefit his art. His over-riding quest was to seek his artistic individuality and poetic voice.
In 1818 external personal and professional events circumscribed Keats’ precious independence. First, his poetry for political rather than artistic reasons was ridiculed in the press. But more problematic for the brave Keats was that some of his immediate family members had become suddenly destitute or died. Keats’ spring and summer walking tour in 1818 of England, Scotland, and Ireland resulted in Keats’s personal inspiration but a chronically weakened state of physical health. In those same months, the 23-year-old poet had fallen in love with the vivacious, pretty and thoroughly nonliterary 18-year-old Fanny Brawne (1800-1865). They soon became engaged, but Keats’ inferior health and his strained to nonexistent finances impeded their getting married which frustrated Keats.
In the rapidly reached final period of his life and poetic career, Keats wrote several of his masterpieces. In 1819 Keats wrote, one after another, The Eve of St. Agnes, La Belle Dame Sans Merci, his Odes (including Ode To a Grecian Urn), Lamia, and several major sonnets. These poems possess the characteristics of Keats’ mature work—that of grace, sensuality, and sympathetic objectivity. It sets before the reader the conflicting and contradictory nature of existence, signaling a “both-and” experience of living in the world, including grappling with the problem of good and evil. Keats writes plainly in a letter in that period about life’s suffering—it is a “world…full of misery and heartbreak, pain, sickness and oppression.”
Weakened by tuberculosis, Keats’ health took a bad turn in February 1820 so much so that the poet realized he was dying. By that fall he traveled to Italy seeking a milder climate for his health. He stayed in Rome until the end came. On February 23, 1821 —like his mother and brother before him— Keats died of tuberculosis. The 25-year-old poet was buried in the Protestant Cemetery in Rome.
Despite his gallant reluctance to yield to bitterness or despair for his life’s wasteful circumstances, with death died Keats’ ambitious plans of renewed poetic achievement and an ongoing passionate love for Fanny Brawne. Although today’s reader can continue to savor John Keats’ poems and letters prior to his having stopped writing at 24 years old, what might have been in terms of the English Romantic poet’s fully realized potential is to offer a conjecture about one of the English language’s greatest poets.
SOURCES: The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Third Edition, Volume 2, W.W. Norton & company, Inc. New York, 1974.
John Keats, Walter Jackson Bate, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1964.
John Keats, letter to his brother and sister, Spring 1819. While we are laughing, the seed of trouble is put into the wide arable land of events. While we are laughing it sprouts, it grows and suddenly bears a poison fruit which we must pluck.
Letter to his brother George Keats (1797-1841) and sister-in-law Georgiana Augusta Wylie Keats (1798-1879). Married in England in May 1818, the Keats departed for America going to Kentucky and southeastern Illinois by way of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. The Keats are buried in Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville, Kentucky. Mrs. Keats re-married after the poet’s brother died during experiences of serious financial setbacks. Do you not see how necessary a world of pains and troubles is to school an intelligence and make it a soul?
The poet suffered from– and died of– tuberculosis at the age of 25 years. Letter to his fiancée, Fanny Brawne, March 1, 1820. Health is my expected Heaven.
Letter to his brothers, George and Thomas Keats, January 13-19, 1818. Letters of John Keats, no. 37, edited by Frederick Page, 1954. There is nothing stable in the world; uproar’s your only music.
Endymion, Preface (1818). The complete line is: “This may be speaking too presumptuously, and may deserve a punishment: but no feeling man will be forward to inflict it: he will leave me alone, with the conviction that there is not a fiercer hell than the failure in a great object.”
The Fall of Hyperion – A Dream. Canto 1, first lines. Fanatics have their dreams, wherewith they weaveA paradise for a sect.
Letter, August 23, 1819, Letters of John Keats, no. 144, ed. Frederick Page, 1954. I will give you the definition of a proud man: he is a man who has neither vanity nor wisdom—one filled with hatreds cannot be vain, neither can he be wise.
Michael Bloomberg (born February 14, 1942) is an American businessman, politician, and author. He is the CEO and majority owner of Bloomberg L.P, which he co-founded. Bloomberg was the mayor of New York City from 2002 to 2013 where he presided over a period of relative prosperity as well as controversial city-wide policies and practices such as “stop and frisk.” By having the city’s term limits law extended in 2008, Bloomberg served three consecutive four-year terms as mayor. In 2020 he became a candidate for President of the United States running in the Democratic Party primaries. According to Forbes business magazine, Bloomberg is worth about $64 billion. He is divorced and has two grown daughters.
My favorite childhood book was called Johnny Tremain, about a Boston boy who joins the Sons of Liberty at the dawn of the American Revolution. At the end of the book, Johnny stands on Lexington Commons and sees a nation that is “green with spring dreaming of the future”. That’s the America I know and love. Michael Bloomberg, 2020 Democratic National Convention speech, August 20, 2020.
Growing up, I was taught to believe that America is the greatest country in the world. Not because we won the Second World War, but because of why we fought it; for freedom, democracy and equality. Michael Bloomberg, 2020 Democratic National Convention speech, August 20, 2020.
I’ve supported Democrats, Republicans and independents. Hell, I’ve actually been a Democrat, Republican, and independent. Michael Bloomberg, 2020 Democratic National Convention speech, August 20, 2020.
I believe we need a leader who is ready to be Commander in Chief, not college debater in chief. Michael Bloomberg, Super Tuesday speech, March 3, 2020.
I follow facts, respect data, and tell the truth. My whole career I have been a doer. And I believe we need less talk, less partisanship, less division, less tweeting. Michael Bloomberg, Super Tuesday speech, March 3, 2020.
Let me also say, since I have the floor for a second, that I really am surprised that all of these, my fellow contestants up here, I guess would be the right word for it, given nobody pays attention to the clock, I’m surprised they show up, because I would have thought after I did such a good job in beating them last week, that they’d be a little bit afraid to do that. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
Well, I think what’s right for New York City isn’t necessarily right for all the other cities, otherwise you would have a naked cowboy in every city. So let’s get serious here. But I do think it’s the government’s job to have good science, and to explain to people what science says, or how to take care of themselves and extend their lives. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
We shouldn’t be fighting wars that we can’t win. We should go to war only as a last resort. Nobody argues with that. But this is a dangerous world, and if we haven’t learned that after 9/11, I don’t know what’s going to teach us what to do. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
We have to be able to stop terrorism. And there’s no guarantees that you’re going to be able to do it, but we have to have some troops in places where terrorists congregate, and to not do so is just irresponsible. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
You can’t move the embassy back. We should not have done it without getting something from the Israeli government, but it was done, and you’re going to have to leave it there. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
Only solution here is a two-state solution. The Palestinians have to be accommodated. The real problem here is you have two groups of people, both of whom think God gave them the same piece of land. And the answer is to obviously split it up. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
Misconception? That I’m six feet tall. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
This election is just too important, and we cannot afford to get it wrong. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
Vladimir Putin thinks Donald Trump should be president of the United States. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
I’ve apologized and asked for forgiveness. I’ve met with black leaders to try to get an understanding of how I can better position myself and what I should have done and what I should do next time. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
Let me tell you, I have been working very hard. We’ve improved the school system for Black and Brown students in New York City. We’ve increased the jobs that are available to them. We’ve increased the housing that’s available to them. We have programs– Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
But if you talk to the people in New York City, I have over 100 Black elected officials that have endorsed me. A lot of them are in the audience tonight. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
I was the mayor of the largest, most populous city in the United States for 12 years, and people will tell you it’s a lot better city today. It is safer for everybody. The school system is better. The budget is under control. We’ve done the things that people need in New York City for all ethnicities. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
I know that if I were Black, my success would have been a lot harder to achieve. And I know a lot of Black people that if they were white it would have been a lot easier for them. That’s just a fact, and we’ve got to do something about it than rather just demagogue about it. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
I have been training for this job since I stepped on the pile that was still smoldering on 9/11. I know what to do. I’ve shown I know how to run a country. I’ve run the city which is almost the same size, is bigger, than most countries in the world. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
I’m the one choice that makes some sense. I have the experience. I have the resources. And I have the record. When people hired me to run New York City three times, in an overwhelmingly Democratic, progressive city, they elected me again and again. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
Let’s just go on the record. They talk about 40 Democrats. 21 of those were people that I spent $100 million to help elect. All of the new Democrats that came in and put Nancy Pelosi in charge and gave the Congress the ability to control this president–I—I got them. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
If you keep on going, we will elect Bernie. Bernie will lose to Donald Trump. And Donald Trump and the House and the Senate and some of the statehouses will all go red. And then between gerrymandering and appointing judges, for the next 20 or 30 years, we’re going to live with this catastrophe. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
The polls aren’t the election. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
Can anybody in the room imagine moderate Republicans going over and voting for him? And you have to do that, or you can’t win. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
We have put background checks — we have got background checks in 20 states. So you can do it. It’s Congress that can’t seem to do it. And I don’t know why we think they’re going to do it. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
I saw a statistic the other day, when I came into office, zero New York City schools were in the top 25 of the state. When I left, 23 out of 25 were from New York City. We’ve cut the gap between the rich and the poor. We’ve made an enormous difference in all of the options that parents have. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
I raised teacher salaries by 43 percent. I put an extra $5 billion into our school system. I value education. It is the only way to solve the poverty problem is to get people a good education. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
I think the Chinese government has not been open. Their press — the freedom of press does not exist there. They — their human rights record is abominable, and we should make a fuss, which we have been doing, I suppose. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
We have to deal with China if we’re ever going to solve the climate crisis. We have to deal with them because our economies are inextricably linked. We would not be able to sell or buy the products that we need. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
In terms of whether he’s a dictator, he does serve at the behest of the Politboro, their group of people. But there’s no question he has an enormous amount of power. But he does play to his constituency. You can negotiate with him. That’s exactly what we have to do, make it seem that it’s in his interest and in his people’s interest to do what we want to do. Follow the rules, particularly no stealing of intellectual property, Follow the rules in terms of the trade agreements that we have are reciprocal and go equally in both directions. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, Charleston, South Carolina, February 25, 2020.
I do agree with her that the rich aren’t paying their fair share. We should raise taxes on the rich. I did that as mayor in New York City. I raised taxes. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, February 19, 2020.
What a wonderful country we have. The best known socialist in the country happens to be a millionaire with three houses. What did I miss here? Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, February 19, 2020.
I can’t speak for all billionaires. All I know is I’ve been very lucky, made a lot of money, and I’m giving it all away to make this country better. And a good chunk of it goes to the Democratic Party, as well. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, February 19, 2020.
What am I, chicken liver? Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, February 19, 2020.
I can’t think of a ways that would make it easier for Donald Trump to get re-elected than listening to this conversation. It’s ridiculous. We’re not going to throw out capitalism. We tried. Other countries tried that. It was called communism, and it just didn’t work. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, February 19, 2020.
I don’t think there’s any chance of the senator beating President Trump. You don’t start out by saying I’ve got 160 million people I’m going to take away the insurance plan that they love. That’s just not a way that you go and start building the coalition that the Sanders camp thinks that they can do. I don’t think there’s any chance whatsoever. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, February 19, 2020.
Look, this is a management job, and Donald Trump’s not a manager. This is a job where you have to build teams. He doesn’t have a team so he goes and makes decisions without knowing what’s going on or the implications of what he does. We cannot run the railroad this way. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, February 19, 2020.
This country has to pull together and understand that the people that we elect — and it’s not just the president of the United States — they should have experience, they should have credentials, they should understand what they’re doing and the implications thereof. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, February 19, 2020.
Fortunately, I make a lot of money, and we do business all around the world. And we are preparing it. The number of pages will probably be in the thousands of pages. I can’t go to TurboTax. Michael Bloomberg, Democratic Presidential debate, February 19, 2020.
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