In 1942, the US and Mexican governments created the Bracero Agreement, allowing Mexican agricultural workers to come into the United States for a limited time, to provide farm workers while the US was involved in World War II. The program was extended as a series of a series of laws and diplomatic agreements that finally ended in 1964. Probably the most famous popular memorial to the broad program was a poem by Woodie Guthrie, "the last great song he would write," after hearing about a plane crash in Los Gatos, which was reported as a flight full of nameless "deportees." A decade later, a young school teacher/folk singer named Martin (or Marty) Hoffman put the words to music, and Pete Seeger made the song popular, with numerous covers performed and recorded since. 65 years after the crash, those "deportees" were finally named, and that tombstone for "28 Mexican citizens" replaced with the names of those who died. [more inside]
No one who's ever seen film footage of Adolf Hitler giving his rousing speeches could have failed to notice the importance of Der Führer’s wildly exaggerated gestures and body language. Well, it turns out Hitler worked very carefully on that aspect of his public persona, very carefully indeed. During his rise to power, Adolf Hitler had his private photographer, Heinrich Hoffman, shoot him while he practiced those gestures, so that his speeches might have the dramatic impact upon his audiences that he sought. Here are the photos.
Police say Hoffman, 46, was found dead with a needle in his arm. Hoffman's struggles with substance abuse have been well documented, and he had told 60 Minutes in 2006 that he was grateful to have gotten sober before getting famous.
A FOIA request by Christopher Soghoian revealed that Obama administration officials, including Copyright Czar Victoria Espinel, Biden’s deputy chief of staff Alan Hoffman, and criminal prosecutor Lanny Breuer, negotiated the deal between ISPs and copyright holders to punish subscribers whose IP addresses participated in copyright infringement. [more inside]
The only open seat for Congress this election day, in New York's 23rd district, was shaping up to be an interesting 3-way race with possible implications for the future of the Republican party. But after today's Sienna poll showing Democratic Bill Owens leading in this traditionally Republican district, the Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava has announced she is suspending her campaign. Is the race now a shoe-in for Conservative Doug Hoffman, already endorsed by Pawlenty, Palin and others in the far-right of the party? Or will Dede's supporters, who were drawn to her her more moderate stance, simply stay home?
Negative reviews prompt author meltdowns: Alice Hoffman. Lee Oi-soo. Alain de Botton. Ayelet Waldman. Previously on MeFi. [more inside]
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip ends tonight, and Aaron Sorkin will be leaving television production for a while. His current project is Charlie Wilson's War, a movie starring Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and Philip Seymour Hoffman, based on the late George Crile's excellent, funny nonfic book of the same name. The movie will trace "party animal" Congressman Charles "Good Time Charlie" Wilson's (D, TX) rise from a scandal (he was caught in "a hot tub tryst with two cocaine-sniffing showgirls in Las Vegas",) to his role in the 1980's covertly funding Afghanistan guerrillas so they could expand their war with the Soviet Union. Wilson's actions would eventually help collapse the Afghan PDPA government, a power vacuum which would be filled by the Taliban. Who would have thought ending the Cold War would be so easy?