Top 10 American Speeches of the 20th Century

American Rhetoric has a list of the top 100 American speeches of the 20th century. YouTube has most of the videos so I thought I would compile the top 10. I couldn’t find Barbara Jordan’s 1976 DNC Speech or Kennedy’s Address to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association so if you can find the link send it to me and I’ll post it.

#1 I Have a Dream, Martin Luther King Jr.

#2 Inaugural Address , John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Part 1 of 2

Part 2 of 2

#3 First Inaugural Address, Franklin Delano Roosevelt

#4 Pearl Harbor Address to Nation, Franklin Delano Roosevelt

#5 1976 DNC Keynote Address, Barbara Charline Jordan
(Couldn’t find the video)

#6 Checkers Richard Nixon

#7 The Ballot or the Bullet, Malcolm X

#8 Shuttle ‘Challenger’ Disaster Address, Ronald Reagan

#9 Houston Ministerial Association Speech, John Fitzgerald Kennedy
(Couldn’t find video)

#10 We Shall Overcome, Lyndon Baines Johnson

Mario Savio’s “Place Your Bodies Upon the Gears” Speech

American Rhetoric has the transcript and audio:

And that — that brings me to the second mode of civil disobedience. There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart that you can’t take part! You can’t even passively take part! And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus — and you’ve got to make it stop! And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it — that unless you’re free the machine will be prevented from working at all!!

That doesn’t mean — I know it will be interpreted to mean, unfortunately, by the bigots who run The Examiner, for example — That doesn’t mean that you have to break anything. One thousand people sitting down some place, not letting anybody by, not [letting] anything happen, can stop any machine, including this machine! And it will stop!!


Wikipedia’s entry for Mario Savio:

The son of a Sicilian born factory worker, Savio grew up in New York City, went to a public high school (Martin Van Buren High) in Queens, and attended Manhattan College and Queens College before enrolling at the University of California, Berkeley as a philosophy major in 1963. In March of the following year, he was arrested for demonstrating against the San Francisco Hotel Association for excluding blacks from non-menial jobs; in the summer, he traveled to Mississippi as a civil rights worker, helping African Americans register to vote.

Savio rose to prominence as a leader of Berkeley’s Free Speech Movement, delivering a fiery speech in Sproul Plaza on December 3, 1964. But Savio was not a fame-seeker and took modest jobs for twenty years before returning to college in the 1980s, this time at San Francisco State University, where he received a summa cum laude bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in physics.

(Thanks PVC)


And of course, YouTube has the video

(Thanks Aguirre for kicking me in the head to search for the vid)

Haggard Convinced He’s Now “Completely Heterosexual”

Sounds like he’s back on meth…

DENVER – (AP) — One of four ministers who oversaw three weeks of intensive counseling for the Rev. Ted Haggard said the disgraced minister emerged convinced that he is “completely heterosexual.”

Haggard also said his sexual contact with men was limited to the former male prostitute who came forward with sexual allegations, the Rev. Tim Ralph of Larkspur told The Denver Post for a story in today’s edition.

”He is completely heterosexual,” Ralph said. “That is something he discovered. It was the acting-out situations where things took place. It wasn’t a constant thing.”

Looks like the xtians have exiled him from CO:

Haggard said in an e-mail Sunday, his first communication in three months to church members, that he and his wife, Gayle, plan to pursue master’s degrees in psychology. The e-mail said the family hasn’t decided where to move but that they were considering Missouri and Iowa.

Another oversight board member, the Rev. Mike Ware of Westminster, said the group recommended the move out of town and the Haggards agreed.

”This is a good place for Ted,” Ware said. “It’s hard to heal in Colorado Springs right now. It’s like an open wound. He needs to get somewhere he can get the wound healed.”

It was also the oversight board that strongly urged Haggard to go into secular work.

(Thanks Emily)

PVC came up with some places Ted may want to move to:

A few possibilities come to mind:

San Francisco
Fire Island
Key West

The Tom Cruise Missle or Scientology vs. Keith Henson

From CNet:

A Silicon Valley figure who fled the country after being convicted in part because of a Usenet joke about Tom Cruise and Scientology has been arrested in Arizona.

Keith Henson, an engineer, writer and futurist, was arrested Friday in Prescott, Ariz., where he has been living for the past few years, and now faces extradition to California. Henson originally fled to Canada after the 2001 conviction.

The misdemeanor conviction in California stems from a post that Henson made in the alt.religion.scientology Usenet newsgroup that joked about aiming a nuclear “Tom Cruise” missile at Scientologists, and Henson’s picketing of the group’s Golden Era Productions in Riverside, Calif.

Michael Kielsky, Henson’s defense attorney, said Monday that his client will likely be released on Monday evening and is required to appear in court for a March 5 hearing.

Kielsky said that Henson was mistreated by police and jailers–including being told during the arrest that he had no right to an attorney and being held in solitary confinement in a poorly heated cell without adequate bedding. “My best information is that it’s very political,” he said. “They gave him an extra blanket but then an hour later they took it away–(this is) a 66-year-old man with a heart problem.”

I found the CNet article to be a bit confusing in what was actually going on so here’s an article in Wired News from 2001 which gives more details on the case:

WASHINGTON — A California jury has convicted Keith Henson, a prominent critic of Scientology, of terrorizing the group through Usenet posts and by picketing one of its offices.

Henson, a computer engineer who has been involved in prior legal skirmishes with Scientology, was found guilty on Thursday of interfering with Scientologists’ civil rights and now faces a prison sentence of up to one year and a fine of up to $5,000.

The charges revolved around posts Henson made in the alt.religion.scientology newsgroup about targeting a nuclear missile at Scientologists, and Henson’s picketing of the group’s Golden Era Productions in Riverside, California.

The jury rejected Henson’s claim that he was exercising his First Amendment right to criticize a dangerous cult, and convicted him of interfering with a religion, one of three counts against him.

“It was not just the postings themselves,” said Deputy District Attorney Robert Schwarz. “He had been engaged in other odd behavior — chasing down buses, taking down license plate numbers.”

Schwarz, who prosecuted the case, said that Henson also followed people he knew to be Scientologists from their homes to Golden Era Studios: “He would hang over the fence and yell at them and do other weird behavior.”

Henson’s supporters have created a website,, to rally support for Henson during his legal battle.

The site says that Scientology has a suspiciously close relationship with the prosecutor: “What kind of Alice-in-Wonderland Court is it that allows organized criminals to sit in the prosecutor’s chair bringing charges against the honest citizens, in which a heavily-armed cult has Mafia lawyers direct the activities of the District Attorney?”

“A dodgy District Attorney, with cult lawyers sitting at the prosecutor’s table, set him up for absurd charges of threatening the cult with cruise missiles,” says Dave Bird, another Scientology critic. “Virtually all the defense evidence was excluded…. Even when Henson quoted L. Ron Hubbard’s violent words, it was presented as his own speech without quotation marks.”

Henson was convicted of violating a hate crimes statute, section 422.6 of the California Penal Code. It says: “No person, whether or not acting under color of law, shall by force or threat of force, willfully injure, intimidate, interfere with, oppress or threaten any other person in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege.”

Scientology welcomed the jury verdict. In a statement, the group said: “Justice has been served in the trial of People v. Keith Henson. Religious bigotry will not be tolerated in Riverside County.”

The jury was hung on the other two counts against Henson: 9-3 for conviction on the count of terrorism, 10-2 for conviction on the count of attempted terrorism.

The lesson here is that you don’t want to be around when a Tom Cruise missle explodes. Wikipedia has a lot more details about Keith Henson and his battles against the space cult.


Daily Kos has an article called Keith Henson and the Great Miscarriage of Justice

The A to Z Guide to Political Interference in Science

In recent years, scientists who work for and advise the federal government have seen their work manipulated, suppressed, distorted, while agencies have systematically limited public and policy maker access to critical scientific information. To document this abuse, the Union of Concerned Scientists has created the A to Z Guide to Political Interference in Science.

(via Bad Astronomy Blog)