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Eric Robinson

Eric Robinson

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Eric Robinson, the son of James Robinson and of Lilian Robinson (nee Varley), was born in 1919. On the outbreak of the Second World War he East Lancashire Regiment.

A talented right-half, he played for Wolverhampton Wanderers during the 1941-42 season. He was also a member of the team that won the Football League War Cup in 1942. Other members of the team played over two legs included Tom Galley, Dicky Dorsett, Jack Taylor, Frank Broome, Dennis Westcott, Jack Rowley and Jimmy Mullen. Wolves drew 2-2 with Sunderland but won the second game 4-1 with goals from Rowley (2) Westcott and Broome.

Sergeant Eric Robinson tragically drowned on 20th September 1942 while taking part in military exercises in the River Derwent.

What Thucydides Teaches Us About War, Politics, and the Human Condition

The ancient Greek historian of the Peloponnesian War, who lived almost 2,500 years ago, makes the title of Graham Allison’s prominent new volume, Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap?

The great historian merits this because his analysis of the causes of the ancient war between the Athenians and the Spartans provides the essential dilemma of Allison’s book: Can states avoid catastrophic war when a rising power begins to challenge a dominant state’s control? Thucydides’ pessimistic answer seems to be “No”: War was inevitable, we are told, when emergent power Athens contested Sparta’s supremacy 2,500 years ago. Allison offers only a slightly more optimistic take (“War is more likely than not”) in analyzing China’s growing challenge to America’s dominating position globally.

The Trump White House is reportedly obsessed with Thucydides, thanks in good measure to Allison. But senior administration officials like National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster have long taken seriously the ideas of the ancient writer, even if some think he misunderstands what Thucydides is really saying.

And now even Wonder Woman has Thucydides’ name on her lips: In the recent blockbuster superhero movie, the title character and a villain refer to the historian in a dramatic scene (incorrectly, as it turns out, since a quotation is erroneously attributed to him.)

All this attention, both serious and silly, raises the question: What can we truly learn from Thucydides, a writer who lived over two millennia ago, about power relations today? Quite a bit, in my view, but not necessarily in the way people like to.

This moment is not, of course, the first time modern policy experts have turned to Thucydides for his insights. The cognoscenti have long known of the utility of his history. To take a prominent example, during the Cold War much used to be made of the bipolar world of Thucydides. America was often cast in the role of Athens because both were democracies, while militarized, oligarchic Sparta was played by the Soviet Union. But this analogizing got things backwards in strategic terms: Sparta (much like the United States) led an alliance of relatively free, vulnerable allied states who looked to it for protection against a repressive imperial power. Meanwhile, Athens (much like the Soviet Union) controlled its “allies” by force or intimidation, causing a great deal of anxiety in the opposing coalition.

But regardless, this attractive bipolar comparison stoked fears that the “unavoidable” war Thucydides described in his time would mean World War III for all of us.

Happily, it didn’t turn out that way.

This brings me to my first point about appropriately using Thucydides’ history: Be careful about the analogies you see. Thucydides’ compelling vision of the Peloponnesian War, with its meticulously delineated causes, combatants, and alliances, make it easy to find parallels later in history, right up to the present day. Thucydides’ clarity about power relations and human behavior in times of conflict gives his readers all the tools they need to see larger patterns at work that they may identify with events in their own times. Thucydides himself foresaw the utility of his work. He says that he wrote it not to entertain for the moment but to be of lasting value, because people could use it to clearly understand past events and also understand future events given that, people being people, similar sorts of things will happen again.

But as we have seen, one can get the analogies wrong. That “similar sorts of things” may come up again in human affairs (as Thucydides put it) does not mean that everything turns out the same in the end. Thus, the dangerous, decades-long American-Soviet standoff did not result in catastrophic war the way the Athens-Sparta confrontation did. Such a failed analogy doesn’t mean Thucydides was wrong, only those who tried to prognosticate based on his text. Thus, we ought not be too eager to seize upon another comparable strategic situation — modern China’s challenge to the United States (equivalent to Athens’ challenge to Sparta?) — and try to use Thucydides to predict the outcome.

Now, to be fair to Allison, Destined for War does not go quite this far. He is more cautious. For one thing, like a good political scientist, he expands his “dataset” beyond Thucydides to include 16 other, supposedly comparable, cases of rising versus established powers from various periods in history. In 12 of these, he says, war resulted and in four it did not. Moreover, his goal is not really to make a prediction. Rather, he wants to use what he identifies as “the Thucydides trap” — the tendency for wars to break out in circumstances like China’s growing challenge to U.S. dominance — to put Americans on guard to the danger and encourage policymakers to take appropriate action, including embarking on a long-term strategic reassessment.

And yet the risk of misunderstanding Thucydides remains when he is used this way, however carefully. First, we should understand that Thucydides himself never talks of a “trap.” That’s a modern construal, not just by Allison but by Arlene Saxonhouse, when she asserts that, reading Thucydides’ history, we see a “Power Trap” described, whereby states like Athens become trapped by their unending pursuit of power. But Thucydides never describes the complex strategic history of his time as any kind of paradigm or trap. He never warns that this set of circumstances may occur again and that we all must be on guard for it in the future. To use his history as if he did risks turning it into a kind of parlor game of potentially predictive analogies. “I see 19 th century England in ancient Athens! No, Athens is 21 st century America! No, Sparta is! We better watch out — look what happened in the Peloponnesian War!”

So how should we use Thucydides, then? Does his history have anything valuable to offer modern thinkers or policymakers? It certainly does, and this brings me to my second point. Years of working with Thucydides in the classroom and as a scholar tell me that what his book teaches most of all is what we might call historical mindfulness. By this I mean a generalized understanding about the workings of history: what kinds of forces tend to inspire people, drive politics, create crises and bring (or prevent) resolution, with what consequences for human communities? Thucydides was not a prophet nor a political scientist, but a keen observer and explicator of the human condition in collective conflict. And we can gain much wisdom by studying his work with this in mind.

For example, when we read Thucydides’ account of the devastating civil war in Corcyra, with his astute observations of the way political struggles of this kind twist ambitions and norms and the very meaning of words, there is much to learn. The horror and tragedy of the events in Corcyra — friends become enemies, kin kill kin, a once-prosperous polity virtually self-destructs —make his account riveting and give weight to his thoughts on how such things can come about. Several of his observations stand out: that the existence of a larger war (between Athens and Sparta) paved the way for Corcyra and, later, other polarized cities to fall into internal violence that political behavior previously honored as prudent and honest becomes, in these circumstances, scorned as disloyal or cowardly that atrocity led to counter-atrocity, while mutual distrust made de-escalation almost impossible. Seeing the truth in Thucydides’ observations about events in Corcyra (which, in general ways, recall incidents from other civil wars in other times and places) can teach us a great deal about civil strife and of politics gone wrong. It helps make us historically mindful.

This manner of reading Thucydides offers, I would assert, a deeper wisdom than analogy-hunting. (“The Corcyrean oligarchs are like the hardliners in Iran! No, they are the loyalists in Syria! And the Corcyrean populists must be the Syrian Kurds! Now we can predict what will happen!”)

Consider another example. One of the most renowned parts of his history is the Melian dialogue, where Thucydides reports on a conversation that took place between envoys from an invading Athenian force and officials from the small island city-state of Melos, which the Athenians were about to assault. In the dialogue, Thucydides presents his readers with a stark view of the Athenian imperial mindset of the time, while also putting us in the shoes of a vulnerable community that found itself in the path of a much more powerful one bent on swallowing it. The Melians ask the envoys to be left alone, appealing to reason and justice. They claim a desire to remain neutral in the Spartan-Athenian struggle, contend that the Athenians would outrage gods and men if they attacked them, and warn that the Spartans would intervene on the Melians’ behalf. The Athenians, in contrast, argue from a basis of naked power: We will forego fancy words of self-justification and simply tell you that we are strong, you are weak, and you can only save yourself by surrendering your freedom to us or we will crush you. Our empire was built by taking what we can and that’s how we will maintain it. Oh, and the gods seem to like us just fine. (And don’t delude yourselves about Sparta coming to help you it is obvious that they won’t.)

The contrast between the harsh words of the Athenians and the alternately brave, hopeful, and desperate arguments of the Melians makes this exchange one of the most memorable in Thucydides’ history. The fact that the Melians, who refused to surrender and resisted the Athenian siege for as long as they could, suffered obliteration in the end at the hands of the Athenians (all surviving men were executed, all the women and children were sold into slavery) adds to the drama and message of the episode. Thucydides follows his Melian account with a lengthy description of Athens’ grand Sicilian expedition. This was another arrogant attempt at imperial expansion, but one that instead ended in disaster for Athens.

Scholars have argued about how exactly we should interpret the Melian dialogue, but two conclusions seem fairly clear. First and foremost, Thucydides wants us to see the brutal thinking and overbearing pride of the Athenians in the way they conceived of and sought to expand their empire. Fair-seeming words used on other occasions to justify ethically their imperial expansion are stripped away, revealing the cold calculus beneath. Thucydides’ moralizing purpose shines through, both in the painfully unjust treatment of the honorable Melians and in the comeuppance that he shows the overconfident Athenians suffering in the immediately following narrative of the catastrophic Sicilian expedition. Naked, cruel aggression can rebound against its practitioners.

But there is more to it than this. Thucydides is also teaching us about realistic expectations in dangerous times. The Melians, for all the justice of their cause, made a terrible error in deciding to resist the Athenians. The Spartans did not lift a finger to help them, much as the Athenians predicted. The Melian forces were completely outmatched, much as the Athenians said they would be. And the Melians paid for their delusions with their very existence.

I could produce many more fertile episodes for examination from Thucydides’ ample history. There is, for example, his famous multifaceted treatment of the short- and long-term causes of the Spartan-Athenian war (on which see S. N. Jaffe’s recent and wise commentary in War on the Rocks.) But the expositions I have provided, brief as they are, show, I hope, how contemplating Thucydides’ rich text can yield many insights about fundamental matters of politics, war, and the human condition. We can see in Thucydides’ work (and, of course, in written accounts of other times and places, if not always as incisively) the dynamics of history at work. Understanding the predicament of the Melians, or the civic self-immolation of the Corcyreans, or the corrosive imperial ideology of the Athenians, together with the long-term causes and consequences of their conflicts, helps one to perceive, at a general level, how human communities can prosper or falter or fail. Guided by Thucydides, we see dynamics at work that can facilitate the analysis of strategic confrontations in any era.

Fostering such historical mindfulness does not, unfortunately, grant one the straightforward ability to predict the course of future events. Neither does Thucydides’ history itself. He did not write an oracular text. Trying to peg the Chinese or Americans as latter-day Athenians, or distilling Thucydides’ work into axioms of history (“when x power challenges y, z will result”) — while, admittedly, intellectually stimulating — misses a more profound education available in his text, an education that can provide students of public affairs with a nuanced, historically grounded grasp of how the world works.

Eric W. Robinson is Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of History at Indiana University. His most recent book is Democracy Beyond Athens: Popular Government in the Greek Classical Age (Cambridge, 2011). He has written about Thucydides and causes of the Peloponnesian War in The Oxford Handbook of Thucydides (Oxford, 2017).

Showbiz and rock'n'roll royalty farewell Eric Robinson

It was showbiz and rock'n'roll royalty all the way in Port Douglas on Wednesday when the likes of Jimmy Barnes, David Leckie, Michael Coppel​ and Philip Jacobsen joined former retired uber-agent Patti Mostyn to bid farewell to her husband, best friend and one of the powerhouses of the Australian live performance industry, Eric Robinson. Barnes sang the Cold Chisel classic When The War Is Over inside the tiny St Marys By The Sea chapel, while tributes from Sting, Billy Joel and John Reid were read out. Robinson had been battling complications from prostate cancer for months, which had taken a toll on Mostyn, the former publicist and close friend of Elton John. On Sunday night she suffered a heart attack, was rushed to hospital and underwent surgery. "I'm not supposed to do anything but there was no way I was not going to go," an emotional Mostyn told PS. Mostyn and Robinson met "on the road" during the 1974 Suzi Quatro tour. "We had an almighty fight, I threatened to quit the tour and I was told that without a sound and lighting guy there would be no tour, so I had to just get on with it. After a period of time I realised I quite liked the man . he truly was one of a kind," Mostyn said. Robinson was 67. He is survived by Mostyn and their daughter, Tara.

Eric Robinson, here with wife Patti Mostyn at the 2015 Helpmann Awards, was farewelled on Wednesday. Credit: Jim Lee

While it's not quite a Princess Mary situation, PS hears love has blossomed for Sunrise weatherman James Tobin and Lady Kitty Spencer, the niece of the late Diana, Princess of Wales. The pair clearly had eyes only for each other in Melbourne during the Spring Racing Carnival, while Spencer has extended her Australian holiday to spend more time in Sydney right by Tobin's side. However her strategy of not talking about her famous family appears to have backfired somewhat, especially when she walked the black carpet at Chris Hemsworth's fundraiser on Tuesday night. When she approached the media pen offering herself for any sound bites, she was greeted with a collective no thanks.

PS hears love has blossomed for Lady Kitty Spencer and James Tobin. Credit: Anna Kucera

Eric Robinson’s Victoria Cross, 26th February 1915

Eric Robinson was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions of the 26th February 1915. Robinson was one of a demolition party from HMS Vengeance set ashore at Kum Kale, Gallipoli. A party accompanied by Royal Marines landed at around 2 pm, under Maj Granville Heriot DSO. The objective was to destroy any Ottoman guns that remained in working order in Kum Kale and Orkanieh. The mission was known to be difficult.

From their landing point, the demolition team was to make its way up the banks of the Mendere River. To one side they had a cemetery, ahead Achilles Mound. Beyond the mount were two batteries that had been subjected to naval bombardment: Orkanieh battery and Yeni Shehr.

The Royal Marines were to provide cover for the demolition team. This resulted in a covering position being formed in a hollow below the River. The Marines were fired upon from their left flank, then by snipers in various locations and finally with heavier fire from Yeni Shehr.

The demolition party advance continued though. HMS Dublin was asked to fire a salvo at Yeni Shehr. An officer from HMS Vengeance later described what he had seen of the early stage of the engagement:

“We saw them go past the cemetery, up to the semi-circular hollow, and they then signalled that they were attacked: so Dublin fired a salvo at the Yeni Shehr [wind] mills, which downed three mills and stopped the enemy’s fire from there. We also gave Yeni Shehr a few rounds: however, the Marines still remained in the hollow firing fairly hard. It appears they were attacked from the Mendere on their left flank, and from hidden snipers in the cemetery also, till the guns stopped them, by a large force from Yeni Shehr…”

Under fire and with support from the straights now too dangerous to be called upon, the party was pinned down. Except, that is, Eric Robinson:

“When half way up the slope (under fire all the time from Yeni Shehr) Robinson’s party stopped and took cover, with the exception of one who went forward up to Achilles Mound, where the Vengeance’s shells had earlier dislodged two Turkish anti-aircraft guns nearby, got inside the crater at the top, walked calmly down again and, when he was just clear, we saw an explosion and up went both the anti-aircraft guns.”

Capt. Bertram Smith, commander of HMS Vengeance, explains the chaotic scenes as they were seen from the ship:

“We had been watching Eric Robinson…strolling around by himself …under heavy rifle fire from the neighbouring rise, like a sparrow enjoying a bath from a garden hose, until Dublin turned the hose off with some nicely placed salvoes. He and his party and escort were returning to the boats, while the Admiral and I were happily arranging our recommend for his V.C. when a fresh turmoil started all around them.

They had now passed out of sight in the trees of Kum Kale cemetery and none of us could see what was happening.

At length, they got a signal through to say that they were held up with the main body of the enemy in a large domed tomb. The control could see the tomb and I could just distinguish its top when they put me on. It was invisible at the guns, but I was able to note its whereabouts in the treetops, and went down to let off a 6-inch lyddite. The range was short and the range-finder laid it exactly, so the first shot sent the tomb and fragments of its inmates, both ancient and modern, flying heavenwards. Using the burst as a starting point there was no difficulty in taking the guns on to any other target to get our people clear.”

Eric Robinson did receive the Victoria Cross for these actions. One man, Sgt. Ernest Turnbull of the Royal Marines was killed during this mission and 3 were wounded.

Robinson’s V.C. citation in the London Gazette (16th August 1915):

“Lieut Commander Robinson on 26th February advanced alone, under heavy fire, into an enemy’s gun position, which might well have been occupied, and, destroying a four-inch gun, returned to his party for another charge with which the second gun was destroyed. Lieut Commander Robinson would not allow members of his demolition party to accompany him, as their white uniforms rendered them very conspicuous.”

In the period between the actions and the citation appearing in the Gazette, Robinson had gone on to achieve further notoriety for his bravery.

On 14/15th March, he commanded an unarmoured commandeered trawler through the straights on a minesweeping exercise. It was hit 84 times. On the night of 18/19th April, he then led a party to destroy an abandoned E15. He did this without cover and under heavy fire from 400-500 yards away. His immediate superiors recommended he be awarded a second Victoria Cross, this was denied though, a promotion was given instead. During the landings at Sulva on 7th August Robinson was wounded by enemy fire.

Upon recovering from his wounds he took up a command off the coast of Palestine, was again noted for his bravery: Mentioned in Despatches. By the end of the war, he had received the Order of the Nile before being transferred to the Caspian Sea. Here, he was the commander who took possession of Fort Alexandrovsk from the Bolsheviks, receiving the Russian Order of St. Anne for this. Following the end of British involvement in the Russian Civil, War Robinson was awarded the OBE. He served until retiring at the rank of Rear Admiral in 1933. The Second World War saw Robinson being recalled as a convoy commodore until ill health led to his second retirement in 1941.

Eric Robinson - History


SOURCE: JUAN WILSON [email protected]

POSTED: 28 July 2005 - 8:00pm HST

The Potential of the Robinson Legacy

by Juan Wilson - 28 July 2005

Next door to me in Hanapepe Valley is a piece of property that is less than half an acre, yet holds what I hope is a solution to many big problems facing Kauai. On the other side of my house is a larger tract, over three acres, that is State Ag Land under the control of the Department of Land & Natural Resources. At one time I would have trusted the DLNR to do what was best for the public and the island but given the recent history of the DLNR being in bed with.

the military (6000 acre 30 year lease to Pacific Missile Range Facility),
the agbiz (protecting GMO operations on state land for Syngen, Dupont etc),
and the developers (trying to privatize Kokee State Park as a gated resort)

. I've lost trust in the state to manage and plan for the use of public lands. Certainly, under Republican governor Linda Lingle the state's protection of public resources have suffered. Her hand picked head of the Board of Land & Natural Resources was Peter Young and he has overseen the BLNR as if it were a land speculation outfit.

So who is the landowner next door that I have pinned hope on to help Kauai?

The Robinson family.

Why? Because, even with their eccentricities and tribulations they have demonstrated a long term commitment to Kauai, Niihau and the Hawaiian people of those islands. Also, they are a private family business that can do whatever they like. If they decide to follow an enlightened path, they can. without the kinds of bureaucratic red tape and bickering of the public sector or the dog-eat-dog, bottom-line, interest-of-the-shareholders corporate crapola.

In other words, they could do the right thing just because they wanted to.

For a moment let's go back to the half acre next door. The owner is listed as:

by Trish Moore 17 April 1998 in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin

LIHUE -- Helen Robinson and her sons Bruce and Keith are "seriously considering" divesting themselves of more than 45,000 acres of land in Kauai County -- including Niihau -- and starting over on the mainland.

In an interview yesterday, Keith Robinson, 56, co-heir to the lands, said $1.5 million in estate tax bills, which are expected to climb to "tens of millions" in future years, means the family cannot continue to subsidize the population of 180 native Hawaiians who live on Niihau.

He said the family's primarily agricultural and ranching operations have been "systematically destroyed" by heavy taxation and a "government hostile to private business owners."

The family owns 33 percent of Gay & Robinson Sugar Co., a share that will climb to 45 percent once estate matters are settled, Robinson said.

He wouldn't speculate how a move out of the islands might affect the sugar company.

Robinson said he and his brother Bruce have discussed transferring their business interests out of Hawaii for the past 20 years but that Moody's recent downgrading of the state's bond rating is a major signal that the economic situation here will get worse.

"We stand an excellent chance of being plundered and ruined if we remain in Hawaii," he said. "This does not mean we are going to sell Niihau tomorrow. It does not in any way imply that our commitment to the Niihau people has diminished," Robinson said.

He stressed that the family has not solicited or considered offers to purchase the island nor discussed plans with the military.

He did, however, lay out a theoretical scenario of exchanging the island for federal land of equal value in the Pacific Northwest:

"We might wind up with some real nice timberland and some nice house lots. The federal government might wind up with the island of Niihau -- theoretically."

"Theoretically, the Niihau people could qualify as a Native American tribe and have their own reservation, and the monk seals would have protection of the federal government . (which would) own the island and be able to put their facilities there."

"The Niihau people might wind up nicely protected that way," he said.

The Robinsons say their operations have been 'systematically destroyed' by heavy taxation.of a Navy proposal to build missile launch facilities on the island as part of a plan to upgrade the Pacific Missile Range Facility in west Kauai.

Robinson said potential revenues from the project would not be enough to sustain operations at Niihau Ranch, which has lost money for decades and is a main source of sustenance for residents.

"We're very sad we can't do more. We'd like to do more, but the money has run out, thanks to that bloody Land Use Commission," he said.

Early in the century, the family had set aside 4,500 acres of uplands on Kauai's north shore to sell when cash was needed.
A 1960s land commission rezoned the land to conservation, stripping it of most of its value, Robinson said.

To pay estate and land taxes, the family has closed Niihau Ranch and plans to sell the helicopter used to transport residents for medical emergencies and run small-scale hunting tours.

"The Niihau people are sitting around on welfare, mostly, now," Robinson said.

"They're not in quite as disastrous a situation as other people might be if they were caught without jobs, but it's not going to be easy."

Upland sheep and cattle grazing lands on the island have been destroyed because there's been no money to pay the labor costs to make repairs.

The family's ancestors bought the island in 1864 from Kamehameha V for $10,000 in gold.

Since 1998 the Robinson family has gotten somewhat out of the hole they were in. Unfortunately, part of the reason for that is the result of cutting some deals with the military (PMRF) to utilize Robinson land.

Because, unlike Alexander & Baldwin (A&B), which is a corporation that is hell bent on suburban development on the island of Kauai (especially between Hanapepe and Poipu), the Robinsons have kept their holdings pretty much as they were during plantation days. Of course, there was bad and good about the plantations, but having a bit of that style of life has kept some good traditions of old Hawaii still alive. Music, language, culture of Hawaiians still live in places like towns like Kaumakani, Makaweli and the Camp villages.

These communities still rely on agriculture. The only operating sugarmill on the island is in Kaumakani. There is a plan to produce ethanol in this mill. It is a step but just an interim step. Bio-diesel would make more sense in the long run.

My suggestion to the Robinsons is to diversify and scale down agricultural operations. Keep the mill and the best land for bio-diesel farming as part of your mix of activities, but subdivide the rest up for a wide variety of farming uses. Make the big tracts operate more like the small ones embodied on the little lot next door.

These uses should include:

Organic vegetable farming
Poultry and egg production
Beef and dairy operations
Horse and goat pastures
Fruit trees, timber production
virgin forest and nature conservation

In other words, those things that will make our island self-sufficient and self-sustaining. Certainly, the future of oil and energy indicates that is what will be needed here in the future. I am hoping that the Robinson family can see the eventual success of avoiding the A&B economic model of endless suburban growth. I'm hoping the Robinsons will envision a future that incorporates their love on our island and its people and a better future for us all.

The year rock found the power to unite

On 30 April 1978, a crowd gathered in Victoria Park in London's East End. They had come from all over the country - 42 coaches from Glasgow, 15 from Sheffield, an entire trainload from Manchester - marching across London from Trafalgar Square to attend a special all-day concert headlined by Tom Robinson and the Clash. The day had been organised by 'Rock Against Racism', a grassroots political movement that used music to campaign against the looming electoral threat of the National Front. To mark the anniversary of the concert, as well as to highlight the continuing struggle against racism, another all-day music concert is being staged next week.

Many of those who will gather in Victoria Park next Sunday to watch the Good, the Bad and the Queen, Hard-Fi, the View and the others on the bill were not even born 30 years ago. But for those who attended the original concert in 1978 it was a show that changed their lives and helped change Britain. Rock Against Racism radicalised a generation, it showed that music could do more than just entertain: it could make a difference. By demonstrating the power of music to effect change it inspired Live Aid and its supporters claim it helped destroy the National Front. It was the triumphant climax to a story that began two years earlier, following one hot August night in Birmingham.

It was 5 August 1976 and Eric Clapton was drunk, angry and on stage at the Birmingham Odeon. 'Enoch was right,' he told the audience, 'I think we should send them all back.' Britain was, he complained, in danger of becoming 'a black colony' and a vote for controversial Tory politician Enoch Powell whom he described as a prophet was needed to 'keep Britain white'. Although the irony was possibly lost on Clapton, the Odeon in Birmingham is on New Street, minutes from the Midland Hotel where eight years earlier Powell had made his infamous 'Rivers of Blood' speech. But if the coincidence was curious, the hypocrisy was breathtaking: Clapton's career was based on appropriating black music, and he had recently had a hit with Bob Marley's 'I Shot the Sheriff'.

In usual circumstances his comments would have been merely ill advised, but it was the social and political context which made Clapton's intervention so chilling. The National Front had won 40 per cent of the votes in the spring elections in Blackburn. One month earlier an Asian teenager, Gurdip Singh Chaggar, had been murdered by a gang of white youths in Southall. 'One down - a million to go' was the response to the killing from John Kingsley Read of the National Front. Sid Vicious and Siouxsie Sioux were sporting swastikas as fashion statements. David Bowie, who three months earlier had been photographed apparently giving a Nazi salute in Victoria Station, told Cameron Crowe in the September 1976 edition of Playboy '. yes I believe very strongly in fascism. The only way we can speed up the sort of liberalism that's hanging foul in the air. is a right-wing totally dictatorial tyranny. ' In that same interview Bowie claimed that 'Adolf Hitler was one of the first rock stars.' This was Britain then in the sweltering summer of 1976, and in that context Clapton's comments were potentially incendiary.

Red Saunders was a rock photographer and political activist who had been inspired and radicalised by the events of 1968. When he heard Clapton's comments he felt compelled to register his opposition. 'I was outraged,' Saunders tells me. 'I was a fan of the blues and had seen Clapton playing in the Sixties at the Marquee Club, I couldn't believe he could now be saying what he was.' Saunders decided to pen a letter of protest to the music press. In the letter, published in the NME, Melody Maker, Sounds and the Socialist Worker, Saunders and other signatories including his friend Roger Huddle wrote: 'Come on Eric. Own up. Half your music is black. You're rock music's biggest colonist. We want to organise a rank and file movement against the racist poison music. we urge support for Rock against Racism. P.S. Who shot the Sheriff, Eric? It sure as hell wasn't you!' The letter urged those readers wanting to join Rock Against Racism to write to them. Within a fortnight there were more than 600 replies. Three months later, in November 1976, Rock Against Racism held its first ever gig, featuring Carol Grimes, in the Princess Alice pub in east London. 'We had friends who were dockers who had become anti-racist after the Powell speech,' Roger Huddle recalls, 'and they provided the security for the gig because the NF were really active in the area.'

When Paul Furness read the letter in the NME he was working as a medical records clerk at Leeds General Infirmary. 'Leeds was a dark, depressed city,' Furness told me, 'there was lots of youth unemployment, the Yorkshire Ripper was still loose - so when I read the letter in the NME it was like a breath of fresh air, it was what I had been waiting for.' Buoyed by the enthusiastic response, RAR (Rock Against Racism) began organising concerts which would feature multiracial line-ups sharing the bill. The concerts would end with reggae bands like Aswad and Steel Pulse playing with punk bands such as the Ruts, the Slits and Generation X. Misty in Roots, a Southall-based reggae group played more concerts than any other band for RAR. 'Music can help bring people together,' lead singer Poko tells me. 'When you saw a band like ours jamming with Tom Robinson or Elvis Costello it showed that if you love music we can all live together.'

In Leeds Paul Furness established a RAR club where, every Friday night for 18 months, bands would perform in the common room of Leeds Polytechnic. He tells me of the night he went to see a Tom Robinson concert with three female friends. 'After the gig I went up to him to try and persuade him to play at the RAR club,' he says 'and as I was talking Tom saw a bunch of guys wearing badges indicating they were gay. He told me he had to talk to them. "Some of us don't wear badges," I told him. He looked at me and said, "Are you gay?" and I said "Yes."' It was the first time that Furness had publicly acknowledged his sexuality. 'What did your three female friends think about you coming out to Tom Robinson?' I ask. 'I just remember them laughing,' he says 'Mind you, all three of them are now lesbians.'

By the following year RAR was publishing its own magazine, Temporary Hoarding. David Widgery's editorial in its first issue was the organisation's first manifesto. 'We want Rebel music, street music,' it declared, 'music that breaks down people's fear of one another. Crisis music. Now music. Music that knows who the real enemy is. Rock Against Racism. Love Music Hate Racism.' The magazine carried concert reviews as well as political advice for organisers. 'I remember that we would get a phone call,' says Saunders, 'and they would say I want to join my nearest RAR group, and we would say where do you live, and they would say Lowestoft, so we'd say: you are now the Lowestoft RAR group. And we would then send them a box of badges and instructions on how to make banners and that would be it.'

The appeal of Rock Against Racism for music fans was that it had recruited the biggest names in the emerging punk culture. By 1977 RAR could claim the support of most of the innovative bands of the time - Stiff Little Fingers, Sham 69, the Tom Robinson Band, Steel Pulse, Misty in Roots and the Clash. The Sex Pistols, although they were booked to play Wigan for RAR, never managed to make it on stage, but John Lydon was unequivocal in his opposition to the National Front, telling one interviewer: 'I despise them. No one should have the right to tell anyone they can't live here because of the colour of their skin or their religion. How could anyone vote for something so ridiculously inhumane?'

'Rock against Racism made it cool to be anti-racist,' says Professor John Street, who has written on the relationship between music and politics. 'Because we had all these bands backing us, we could say that the Nazis are against our music,' says Huddle, 'they want us only to listen to marching bands and Strauss.'

It was a message that resonated with Billy Bragg, then living in Barking and working as a bank messenger. 'I had seen the Clash on the first night of the White Riot tour,' he tells me, 'and I remember thinking that the fascists were against anybody who wanted to be different - once they had dealt with the immigrants then they would move onto the gays and then the punks before I knew it the music I loved would be repatriated.'

Following success in the spring 1977 elections - where they pushed the Liberals into fourth place in nearly a quarter of constituencies - the NF were threatening to achieve an electoral breakthrough. The Anti-Nazi League - which had formed in 1977 - were keen to hold a joint demonstration with RAR in the spring of 1978 to encourage supporters to vote against the National Front in May's council elections. The Greater London Council - then Conservative-led - gave permission to use Victoria Park, which had been the rallying ground of London's Chartists in 1848. The date was set for Sunday 30 April and the plan was for a carnival in Trafalgar Square followed by an open-air concert in Victoria Park. In Beating Time, David Widgery's history of RAR, he writes that they wanted to turn the day into 'the biggest piece of revolutionary street theatre London had ever seen, a 10th anniversary tribute to the Paris events of May 1968.' By holding the concert in the East End, RAR was declaring its intention of taking the battle into the heart of where the National Front was trying to build support.

Three weeks before the carnival, two parcel bombs were delivered by the neo-Nazi organisation Column 88 to the headquarters of the Communist Party and the trade union Nupe. On 21 April, nine days before the carnival, 10-year-old Kennith Singh was stabbed to death yards from his east London home. The killers - who were never found - left eight stab wounds in the back of his head.

Film-maker Gurinder Chadha was living above her parents' shop in Norbury, south London. 'Being in a shop we were very vulnerable because the next person who walked in could beat you up,' she recalls. 'I was really into RAR. When I heard about the carnival I was determined to go, but my parents said there was no way.'

In the week of the carnival Johnny Mathis appeared on Top of the Pops and Brian and Michael had been at number one for three weeks with Matchstalk Men and Matchstalk Cats and Dogs. The only mention of the concert in London's Evening Standard was tucked away on page 25, below Celia Brayfield's 'On the Town' column, the last entry for the weekend's gig guide. In the early hours of Sunday morning Paul Furness left Leeds on his way to London. 'I have a vivid memory of seeing all these coaches with colourful RAR posters,' he tells me 'and the closer we came to London the more coaches there were.' In Victoria Park, sodden from the rain that had lashed down all week, Anti-Nazi League activists had spent the previous night sleeping on the stage to protect it from being attacked by the National Front.

In Trafalgar Square 10,000 people had gathered, the crowd growing as it began to make its way to east London. 'Trafalgar Square was raked with colour,' David Widgery recorded. 'Yellow ANL roundels, punk pink Rock Against Racism stars, Day-Glo flags oscillating in approval to the speeches.' It's worth looking at archive footage of the day in Alan Miles's documentary Who Shot the Sheriff? where its possible to get at least a flavour of what that day must have been like: steel drummers on the back of flat bed trucks, huge papier-mache head of NF leaders and Hitler (made by Peter Fluck and Roger Law who later went on to create Spitting Image) and lots of lots of banners. 'Scottish young Communists' read one, 'Gay Switchboard' read another, while a third said in both defiance and hope, 'Queer jew boy socialist seeks a better world.'

Having rained all night and morning, the sun then broke through at 1.30pm. 'I was in Victoria Park and when I introduced the first act, X-Ray Spex, there were only a few hundred people in the park,' recalls Roger Huddle, 'but by the second song the march had arrived.' Throughout the afternoon they came, punks spilling out of coaches in leather and safety pins to join vicars, hippies and trade unionists. By the evening upwards of 80,000 were in Victoria Park to see the Clash take to the stage. In archive footage the entire park appears to throb in a pulsating pogo, a metronomic bounce. Among them was Gurinder Chadha, who had told her parents she was going shopping in Croydon but had sneaked into the concert on her own. 'The whole of the park was jumping up and down to the Clash,' Chadha tells me. 'It was an incredibly emotional moment because for the first time I felt that I was surrounded by people who were on my side. That was the first time I thought that something had changed in Britain forever.'

In the following week's local elections the National Front failed to secure any seats and its level of support fell. In July Rock Against Racism staged a carnival in Manchester featuring Steel Pulse and the Buzzcocks. It was followed in September with a second London concert in Brixton's Brockwell Park with Stiff Little Fingers, Aswad and Elvis Costello. By the end of 1978 RAR had organised 300 local concerts and five carnivals. In the run up to the 1979 election it staged a 'Militant Entertainment Tour' featuring 40 bands at 23 concerts covering more than 2,000 miles on the road.

In the general election the NF's 303 candidates averaged just 0.6 per cent of the overall vote. There is an argument that the election of the Conservative government signalled the death knell for the National Front. Far-right parties thrive under Labour governments the NF were strongest during the mid-Seventies, a time of great disillusionment with a Labour government seen as economically incompetent. Margaret Thatcher had already expressed her concern that Britain was being 'swamped by people of a different culture', a barely coded come-on to the extreme right. But even if some NF votes went to the Conservatives, it is not the full explanation of the drop in NF support.

'There is a danger in believing that politics is all top down,' explains Ian Goodyer, who is writing a book on RAR, 'that Thatcher just pulled the rug from under the racists' feet, but the truth is that by 1979 Rock Against Racism and the ANL had thoroughly discredited the National Front.' Before RAR, the NF had staged intimidatory marches in areas with large immigrant communities, but once RAR began to demonstrate that they could put thousands on the street in opposition to them, the NF were forced to retreat. 'We isolated them at work and we isolated them at the colleges,' claims Roger Huddle, 'and by the end of it they were a spent force mentally and politically. I don't want to overstate what we did, but I am sick to death of understating it.'

Thirty years on and it is not difficult to identify the legacy of Rock Against Racism. That influence was both political and musical. 'It built a circuit of gigs and concerts on which a lot of bands cut their teeth,' explains Ian Goodyer. 'And these small gigs relied on the people in the grassroots getting involved.' Such people include Paul Furness, whose RAR club in Leeds staged the only Rock Against Racism concert featuring Joy Division. The strategy of encouraging black and white bands to jam together paved the way for the ska revival, 2-Tone and multi-racial bands such as the Beat (who, according to Red Saunders, first met in Victoria Park) and the Specials.

'We started out at the same time as RAR,' Specials founder Jerry Dammers tells me, 'so it was all part of the same thing and for me it was no good being anti-racist if you didn't involve black people, so what the Specials tried to do was create something that was more integrated.'

Rock Against Racism also demonstrated that it was possible to use pop culture to highlight political causes. It was this that inspired Dammers, Billy Bragg, Tom Robinson and Paul Weller to set up Red Wedge, an anti-Thatcher popular movement in the run up to the 1987 general election. Like RAR, Red Wedge featured musicians touring in support of a cause, but unlike RAR it was explicitly party political: it aimed to help defeat the Conservative government. But in the 1987 general election Labour's youth vote decreased.

Where RAR and Red Wedge were about raising awareness, Live Aid was about raising funds. While there are some parallels - rocks stars performing in a large outdoor venue for a good cause - the Live Aid and later Live 8 concerts were very different in their ambitions to Rock Against Racism. Three months after the 1978 concert in Victoria Park, Bob Geldof, then lead singer of The Boomtown Rats, told Sounds magazine he did not believe in political rallies, adding 'I think all revolutions are meaningless'. The Live Aid and Live 8 concerts were huge spectacles designed for a mass television audience the audience members were witnesses, not activists. Live 8 did advertise itself as being about 'justice, not charity' but the level of participation demanded was modest: a text message to register concern, a click on an on-line petition. Rock against Racism was a grassroots movement which encouraged members to campaign and challenge those in power Live 8 relied on stars such as Bono and Geldof cajoling and flattering the powerful, hence Bono's appearance at a Labour Party conference where he dubbed Gordon Brown and Tony Blair the Lennon and McCartney of global development.

As for Rock Against Racism, the organisation disbanded in July 1981 with a final carnival in Leeds that was headlined by the Specials. Looking into the crowd, Neville Staple from the band remarked: 'It's like a zebra crossing, black and white, black and white as far as you can see.'

And that, you might think, would be the end of the story. Except that the story of Rock Against Racism, like the story of racism itself, is not yet over. On 4 May 1978, the week after the Victoria Park carnival and the same day as the National Front were beaten in the local elections, a 25-year-old Asian man Altab Ali was murdered in London's Whitechapel Road on his way home from a religious festival. The following month Ishaque Ali was murdered in Hackney.

According to the Institute of Race Relations there have been more than 65 murders in Britain since 1991 with a suspected or known racial motive. And yet with notable exceptions - Stephen Lawrence, Anthony Walker - there is little attention paid to these killings. Meanwhile, as East Europeans and white Britons also face race attacks, racism itself has become less black and white. 'I talk to my brothers and other black friends,' says film-maker and DJ Don Letts 'and they are complaining about the Poles and I say to them, brethren - that was us 40 years ago.'

The dark days of NF marches may be history but the threat from the BNP is, some claim, even greater. As in the mid-Seventies there is economic uncertainty and scepticism about immigration, but today it is coupled with apprehension about multiculturalism and a BNP that has worked hard to disassociate itself from the thuggish image of the National Front. 'In some ways the BNP are stronger than the NF,' says Jerry Dammers. 'There is a bland fascism that is very dangerous and it's creeping into the mainstream.'

In 2002 Rock Against Racism was revived but renamed Love Music Hate Racism. In their offices near Victoria station national organiser Lee Billingham told me that LMHR sees itself as the direct descendant of RAR. 'Love Music Hate Racism is a RAR slogan,' he tells me. 'We're the same grassroots movement. These days the fascists wear suits and the disillusionment with mainstream politics is even worse.' The organisation is behind next Sunday's 30th anniversary concert in Victoria Park with the Good, the Bad and the Queen (which features former Clash guitarist Paul Simonon), Hard-Fi, Bishi, Jay Sean and many others. The need for a popular movement against racism might still exist but does music still contain the power to inspire and enthuse? 'Music gets political when there are new ideas in music,' says Jerry Dammers, who will be playing a DJ set next week, '. punk was innovative, so was ska, and that was why bands such as the Specials and the Clash could be political.'

If today's bands are no longer so interested in kick-starting a revolution, audiences, too, often seem to regard music as just another form of entertainment, to be downloaded as a ringtone. 'They used to say don't trust anyone over 30,' says Don Letts, 'but today I don't trust anyone under 30 - let's be blunt: today's young are spoilt motherfuckers.'

Letts, however, has not met Carolynn Hansen and Frances Smith, two 18-year-old students who are part of the new generation of anti-racist activists. The girls live in Barking in east London and are studying at the same school that Billy Bragg attended four decades earlier they seem to have inherited some of his political fervour. Both fans of the Libertines and Babyshambles, they were drawn into LMHR because of Pete Doherty's involvement. Babyshambles had been due to headline next Sunday's event, until Doherty was incarcerated once again for drug offences. 'It was the music that got us interested,' Carolynn tells me, 'but then we got into the ethos of what LMHR is about.' The girls have been handing out flyers in their classes, they help out in the LMHR offices and on the day they will be at Victoria Park at eight in the morning helping put the stalls up.

I wanted to know why they cared so much, this generation whom we are often told are apathetic. 'But some people are incredibly politically aware,' protests Frances, 'and with things like MySpace and Facebook it's much easier for those of us who do care to organise things.' But what, I asked, about those who say the music of Babyshambles, say, is not explicitly political like Billy Bragg or the Clash. Does that not matter? 'Music is incredibly important in my life,' says Carolynn, 'that's why I was drawn to this cause, but even if the message is not in the song, if the artist portrays it in their interviews or by getting involved, then the fans are going to think its worth looking into.'

I leave the girls and head to the Groucho Club in Soho where I meet Drew McConnell, the bassist for Babyshambles. With Doherty in prison McConnell is assembling an all-star super-group, featuring his own band Helsinki and special guests, to play at the anniversary gig. 'I wasn't even born at the time of the first carnival,' he tells me, 'but when I found out that the BNP had started a record company and were handing out CDs outside schools with racist music I just felt offended. That they were using music of all things.' McConnell, along with other bands, decided to record an alternative CD, which the NME helped to distribute with support from teachers. McConnell tells me of messages he reads that are sent to the band's MySpace site from young fans who say they would not have known about LMHR and would not have become active were it not for the band's involvement. 'I feel honoured to be involved in LMHR,' he says. 'The 1978 carnival is something that is etched into history for ever.'

This summer, in the last weekend of June, Eric Clapton will headline two shows in London and Leeds, the locations for the first and last Rock against Racism carnivals. While David Bowie had distanced himself from his pro-Nazi remarks, Clapton has not only never apologised for his outburst, but has continued to praise Powell only last December on The South Bank Show he reiterated his support for the man and four years ago he told Uncut magazine that Powell had been 'outrageously brave'. In fact the truly 'outrageously brave' ones were those who spoke up against the hate mongers and stood up for a vision of a liberal and tolerant Britain apathy and cynicism is easy, but Rock Against Racism was gloriously uncynical.

'We provided hope to punk culture,' says Roger Huddle. 'Without RAR, punk would have been only about hopelessness and nihilism.' Rock Against Racism, the activists, artists and audience, also provided hope to the Asians and blacks who might have feared that the entire nation was against them. 'Before Rock against Racism there was a sense that it was OK to be racist,' says Gurinder Chadha, 'but with RAR we got to see that there were others willing to speak out against racism and talk about a different kind of Britain.'

Thirty years after the Victoria Park carnival the story of Rock Against Racism is only fleetingly mentioned in most histories of punk, but that does not diminish its extraordinary achievement. It's an achievement that can perhaps only be gauged by imagining how else things might have been had Red Saunders not been moved to write that letter, had courageous souls like Roger Huddle, Paul Furness and the rest not joined the movement: Eric Clapton would have got away with making racist comments, the National Front would have continued to march into immigrant areas stirring up hatred, winning votes and seats and the course of British politics could have been very different.

Let the last word go to Red Saunders: 'The lesson from Rock Against Racism,' he tells me, 'is that we can all intervene, make a difference and change things: nothing is inevitable.'

· Love Music Hate Racism's carnival takes place on 27 April in Victoria Park, London E3. For full details see

Black and white unite

Tom Robinson recalls: 'At the time the National Front were gaining electoral ground. Suddenly instead of getting three leaflets through your letterbox during the local elections, you'd get four: left, centre left, right and Nazi. It was as stark as that. And the NF were becoming bolder in their attempts to intimidate immigrants with marches and violence.

'The Tom Robinson Band had been keen supporters of Rock Against Racism - playing small gigs right from our earliest days. From the outset RAR was a grassroots movement, avoiding stars and celebrities. There was a sense of solidarity among groups like X-Ray Spex, Steel Pulse and my band TRB, who all played RAR gigs in the early days before any of us were famous. The thing I remember about that particular gig at the Alexandra Palace was the performance of Alex Harvey. He just commanded the stage and he performed an extraordinary version of Bob Marley's "Small Axe" [with the refrain 'If you are the big tree/ We are the small axe']. He divided the audience in two with one side singing "big tree" and the other "small axe" and summed up our struggle with those two simple phrases.

'What mattered was the fact that we all took part in an astonishing celebration of music, fun, justice and the politics of tolerance. The struggle for a more just and civilised society is an ongoing fight that each generation has to carry forward.'

Speaking out against the NF

Darcus Howe says: 'The atmosphere felt sharp. You knew you were making a stance. It was crucial: I lived in the area, I had got married there and my first daughter was born there, so I was part of the community. The National Front had come trying to terrorise us.

'The police put up barriers and cordoned us off so it ended up like a meeting in a park. The gathering was largely black people supported by young white activists. The slogan was "Don't let them pass".

'I was asked to speak right there on the spot. I was not on the list of speakers but [RAR campaigner] David Widgery said: "Give that man the megaphone." I always spoke in dulcet tones like a preacher from the pulpit. I said: "They haven't come here to mobilise us to support them, they come here to terrorise." I delivered rhetoric about standing up, about the fact that black people in America were standing up and rhetoric about Africa.

'The major thing in my mind was, "Come what may, we are here to stay." Today it sounds ridiculous to say that but in those days it was the era of the campaign for repatriation and if the government weren't going to do it, the National Front were going to do it. But in the end, they dropped their flags and ran away.'

Marvin Gaye is shot and killed by his own father

At the peak of his career, Marvin Gaye was the Prince of Motown—the soulful voice behind hits as wide-ranging as “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)” and “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology).” Like his label-mate Stevie Wonder, Gaye both epitomized and outgrew the crowd-pleasing sound that made Motown famous. 

Over the course of his roughly 25-year recording career, he moved successfully from upbeat pop to “message” music to satin-sheet soul, combining elements of Smokey Robinson, Bob Dylan and Barry White into one complicated and sometimes contradictory package. But as the critic Michael Eric Dyson put it, the man who 𠇌hased away the demons of millions…with his heavenly sound and divine art” was chased by demons of his own throughout his life. That life came to a tragic end on April 1, 1984, when Marvin Gaye was shot and killed by his own father one day short of his 45th birthday.

If the physical cause of Marvin Gaye’s death was straightforward—”Gunshot wound to chest perforating heart, lung and liver,” according to the Los Angeles County Coroner—the events that led to it were much more tangled. On the one hand, there was the longstanding conflict with his father dating back to childhood. Marvin Gay, Sr., (the 𠇎” was added by his son for his stage name) was a preacher in the Hebrew Pentecostal Church and a proponent of a strict moral code he enforced brutally with his four children. He was also, by all accounts, a hard-drinking cross-dresser who personally embodied a rather complicated model of morality. By some reports, Marvin Sr. harbored significant envy over his son’s tremendous success, and Marvin Jr. clearly harbored unresolved feelings toward his abusive father.

Deetjen's History

I N the early 1930&rsquos Helmuth and Helen Haight Deetjen lived in a tent beside the Castro Canyon Creek. Helmuth constructed a redwood barn with reclaimed materials from Monterey's Cannery Row. Word spread, and adventurous travelers came for weeks to hike and write, dine and play. In 1939, Barbara Blake transformed this main building into a restaurant similar to those of her native English countryside. Today, this space is the heart of Deetjen's filled with guests enjoying meals by candlelight, sipping wine and warming themselves by the fire.

Over years, Helmuth added to the Inn, using locally milled redwood, and giving each room a unique personality and name to match. In this process, ("Grandpa") Deetjen (as he came to be known) recreated the architecture of his native Norway and also helped develop what is now known as the Big Sur style of building. For decades, guests have added to the Inn's journals, always a good read in the cozy rooms.

Grandpa went on to spend his golden years listening to classical music, drinking red wine, and enjoying the intellectual fruits of solitude, while Helen Deetjen (&ldquoMrs. D.&rdquo) held court in her rooms. A penchant for See's chocolates contributed to her famous girth. Locals came to her for juicy gossip, true as well as concocted.

The fresh air, redwood forests, ocean views and tranquility of Big Sur has inspired artists for generations. Famous writers as diverse as Robinson Jeffers and Richard Brautigan wrote of Big Sur, as did Henry Miller, Lillian Bos Ross, Eric Barker, Hunter S. Thompson, and Jack Kerouac. Edward Weston and Ansel Adams created photographic works in Big Sur, as have hundreds of other photographers. George Choley, Gordon Newell, Edmund Kara, Emile Norman, Barbara Spring and Bob Nash are just a few of the noted local artists of an earlier generation who lived and loved here.

Deetjen's Inn exists today because in 1972 Helmuth &ldquoGrandpa&rdquo Deetjen bequeathed his Big Sur home to be forever enjoyed by guests wanting to enjoy the peace, friendship, and beauty of this place. In 1990, the US Department of the Interior placed Deetjen's Big Sur Inn on the National Register of Historic Places. The rustic, hand-crafted quality of the Inn and its old-world ambience recalls visitors' experience in Big Sur's early days. Currently, the Inn is operated on a not-for-profit basis by the Deetjen's Big Sur Inn Preservation Foundation. When staff is available, we offer simple property tours to the public between noon and 4pm.

"Only places of such wondrous character can fool you into thinking you are at home."- Sunset Magazine

Anita Alan's Big Sur Inn: The Deetjen Legacy, records much of the Inn's history, poetry, photographs & recipes.

Jessica Lustig wrote whimsically about Deetjen's Books of Revelation in the New York Times Travel Magazine, 2010.

The Atlantean Conspiracy

From Larry Sinclair and Mia Pope's explosive exposés of Barack Obama's homosexuality and pathological lying, to Joan Rivers recent comments about Michelle Obama being a transsexual, evidence is piling up that America has its first Queen, Drag Queen. Michelle Obama has the face, shoulders, hips, hands, musculature, adam's apple, height and width proportions of a man. Watch the video below made by a knowledgeable woman with a criminal justice/forensics background dissect the truth about our first lady, lady-boy, man. Joan Rivers flat out stated that, "Obama is gay and Michelle is a tranny, we all know it," just a month before her death, and one anonymous source has even pegged Michelle Obama as being born Michael LaVaughn Robinson: "Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States, was born Michael LaVaughn Robinson in Chicago, Illinois on January 17th, 1964. He was the second son born to Fraser Robinson III, a well known cocaine dealer and union thug for Crime Lord/Mayor Richard J. Daley, and Marian Shields Robinson, a transient street prostitute who was diagnosed with the HIV virus in 1998. Fellow schoolmates observed that Robinson could regularly be heard lamenting over how he is a 'woman trapped inside a man’s body', and on January 13th, 1983, he underwent sex reassignment surgery at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. To hide the shame of his new identity, Michael left Oregon State to attend Princeton University under his new legal name, 'Michelle Robinson'. Years later, he met Barry Obama Jr. They subsequently married and adopted two children."


Michelle has given Barack 2 children, so Michelle must be a woman. She may appear more masculine than your average woman, but many women do have more testosterone than average, as well as male like characteristics. They are stii women, though.

Has anyone known of a transgender able to give birth to kids?

"Michelle has given Barack 2 children, so Michelle must be a woman. Has anyone known of a transgender able to give birth to kids?"

Wow, seriously? When you see two gay men with kids you must be pretty confused, right anonymous? In that instance, would you claim that one of the gay men must be a woman? The kids were adopted, obviously, just as the source which leaked Michelle's previous identity said.

_____Wow, seriously? When you see two gay men with kids you must be pretty confused, right anonymous? . The kids were adopted, obviously, just as the source which leaked Michelle's previous identity said_____

Ok Eric, maybe you're right, but donch'a think maybe you're jealous? I mean Michelle is pretty hot for a tranny, and i certainly wouldn't be 2 picky with such a hot 'she' boy. Would you, mister 'ladyboy land' boi??

It's a sheep show anonymous above.

When interviewed with Michael (Michelle), the girls were asked by the interviewer about their relationship with their father. Their response? "Oh, we haven't really KNOWN him that long.." then Michael poo-pooed it and diverted the conversation. Plus, where's all the baby pics with Barry Marshall Davis & Michael LaVaughn Robinson.

He's gay, she's a man, the kids are adopted and it's all a big CIA & Mossad mediated puppet show for the masses at the behest of their NWO puppet masters.Truth, plain & simple. Now Wake-up!!

Joan Rivers said it. So it must be true. Hey listen, we all hate these wicked and twisted people..but really? Cmon..

Ok Eric, maybe you're right, but donch'a think maybe you're jealous? I mean Michelle is pretty hot for a tranny, and i certainly wouldn't be 2 picky with such a hot 'she' boy. Would you, mister 'ladyboy land' boi??

Jealous of some man with a mutilated penis pretending to be a woman? No, sorry, that doesn't do it for me, I'm into actual women, I'll leave all the "hot trannies" for you anonymous.

When interviewed with Michael (Michelle), the girls were asked by the interviewer about their relationship with their father. Their response? "Oh, we haven't really KNOWN him that long.." then Michael poo-pooed it and diverted the conversation. Plus, where's all the baby pics with Barry Marshall Davis & Michael LaVaughn Robinson. He's gay, she's a man, the kids are adopted and it's all a big CIA & Mossad mediated puppet show for the masses at the behest of their NWO puppet masters.Truth, plain & simple. Now Wake-up!!

Good points, thanks second anonymous! :)

I believe u eric, after joan Rivers said she was then she passed away im curious. Im shocked also now i know how to tell if a man is a man or a women is a women. Im ashamed as a african american that Obama is a trader like bush and the other pupet presidents, ppl look up go obama in my family and I don't know if they would call me crazy or go insane lol if they knew this, its crazy how we get tricked so easily by the media and government. Good article eric

---I'm into actual women, I'll leave all the "hot trannies" for you anonymous---

To be honest Eric, michelle looks too slender on the arms to be a man. She looks more like a woman on roids than anything else. Of course you could be right about her and the kids. BTW, i know you're into women, but be careful because some women in Thailand are a bit 'Michell'y ! lol!!

Adding to my previous comment, people are also saying that Serena Williams is also a man.That may even be true, or the effects of Roids on a woman.

Ok, so if Michelle and Serena are really men what does this really mean? Well i think it could be an attempt to condition the people's into accepting transgenderism as normal or even a desirable trait.

Why would America want to do such a thing u ask?
Well, it's all about people control. Diets and fitness has worked at enslaving people into worrying about their weight, and how much they can bench press, and nowthey've worked out that the ultimate way to weaken the male in society is to feminise him, and at the same time get him hooked on big pharma chemical junk, like bodybuilders already are.

Simply put,it's how the government works to destroy the threat of backlash from the usually troublesome male counterpart in society whilst getting taxes out of them. When the United States finally becomes the 'New world order' they will strive to make the world full of fitness and/or transgender freaks, because they know an obsessed person is a weak and needy one.
They are master chess players, and have got this down to a T!

Eric, this is Kendra from The Daily Spiral. As always, your articles are extremely well written and provide excellent information. It is very obvious that this is truth, to me, I need no further proof. and the only other proof would be to look up her dress (no thanks). I think someone made a comment about her arms being too slender for a man. where? At the wrist? You can "feel" there is something very different from this "couple". Their kids could easily either be adopted, stolen or even some genetic experiment. I'm not anti-gay, but I am anti-trickery and deceit. Our Country does not need all this secret society, manipulation and just pure bullshit going on behind closed doors anymore. Something extremely odd about Joan Rivers death and I think anyone who can't see all of this for what it actually is at this point, must be blind, deaf and just dumb. Thank you for sharing your articles and helping to raise awareness. Much love and appreciation to you!

Thanks so much Kendra, I completely agree with your analysis! Peace

It's likely that "Joan" Rivers is/was also a man - and that the transgender agenda has been rolling on unnoticed for many years and is only now deliberately being brought to light.

It's all hidden in plain sight, same as it ever was.

Why do you and others like you tarnish the wealth of spiritual truth you bring forth which is so needed today with hate mongering 'facts' like this? Why? The Obama children easily can be seen as composites of their parents. There IS something missing from the historical records of mankind, somethings spiritual that the bulk of mankind isn't aware. That's the most important truth needed and the love and surrender to love a.k.a. forgiveness to have a chance from total cataclysm: war and environmental collapse. The state of world affairs has had its trajectory toward that cataclysm long before Barack Obama stepped into office and would have and will likely keep that trajectory REGARDLESS of who comes into office. It's deja vu post WWI: the rich get richer, the banks manipulate finances, corporations keep wages low and profits high for shareholders and the evil men behind the scenes manipulate all of it, governments and us too. There is no left or right, progressive or liberal or conservative. That too is all illusion.

Exposing Obama's lies is not "hate-mongering" nor does it "tarnish the wealth of spiritual truth I bring forth."

Mehn! This theory is crazy! I think I might need to add it to my top ten list of conspiracy theories

Too many conspiracies theories, and the funny thing is that most of them are 'Christians'. so much for Christ.
Michelle is in her fifties, the onset of menopause is there and lost of femeninity too. Their daughers are beautiful and Obama one of the best presients in history. By the by..I'm a white male and believe in one mankind.

The girls are adopted? funny Joan called it and she's dead. A gay lover of Obama came out and he's dead. follow the trail. Obama called Michelle Michale. slip up? hmmmm

Liberals will believe anything up to and including barack hussein obama being a legal sitting US President . I can't wait to see when they see what's behind the curtain . There will be a lot of I didn't know coming from the dumbed down electorate .

MIchelle is what he is, so. there is no proof that he is she or that he had belly of one pregnant mother(twice), no birth list, no fotos of babies. and of course Obama is gay, proofs are evrywhere, so what.

Have you seen this yet?
Wake up, People!

Great info,I totally believe Michelle is a male, there is a clear transgender agenda going on in hollywood! Look at what they are doing to poor Shiloe Jolie Pitt! It's ridiculous.. I also believe Obama previously played the role of Osama! anyway, great site.. My family practices yoga and wing chun also!

Hey, glad to hear that Anon! I also think Osama and Obama seem to be much more than a coincidence:

The 2 girls are adopted. Their DNA does NOT match either of the omamas.

Transvestite Michelle Obama, Homosexual Obamessiah of the Obamanation of Desolation in the illuminati anti-Bible:
The same indonesian actor plays both "Obama" and "Osama".
As for WHY the illuminati casted an indonesian homosexual as first black president and a transvestite as first lady:
Abomination of Desolation was the starting point to create the name Obama.
Osama comes from Obama, and Obama comes from Abomination.
This fulfills the illuminati anti-Bible, from Leviticus 18:22 to Deuteronomy 22:5.

Obama is an Satanic Freemason.

And the Freemasons practice homosexuality.

Venus and Serena Williams are transsexuals, there's a lot of evidence from physiological analysis, the most important being the pelvis, which is the main skeletal element used by forensic investigation to determine the sex of human being. It's very easy to see from the many bikini pictures. Serena Williams is a lie and a role model for women, a queen I would say for the african-americans. it's quite scary. It's not a minor issue, I hope you check it out. Congratulations on your research, which I just discovered and seems very well done. Part 1, the pelvis, full movie

President Barack Obama will be judged by God almighty and so will Michelle Michael) Obama.
Obama has lied to the world.

From what I've read, Obama is Gay, Moochelle is a man & "their" 2 kids are adopted! If this is true, Clint Eastwood is right! This is the biggest HOAX pulled over on us & the Liberals will believe & do anything to get what they want!

The greatest evidence that Obama is gay and his wife a tranny is the way they gave blatantly pushed a pro gay agenda at the expense of the rights of those who disagree. They've aggressively sought to erase the gender line and impose their view of morality not only on conservative people but on children who are not in a position mentally or emotionally to deal with issues of an adult nature and are still under the guardianship of their parents. I believe he is corrupt and deceitful and has lied his way into power to push that agenda. He should be impeached for coercing the votes of people who would definitely not voted for him had he been honest and made his true policies and sexual preferences known.

To those who don't believe in prayer, you probably won't care about my
comment, but I'll take a risk and publish it anyway. Last night as
I prayed about certain issues going on in the national government,
I found myself saying these words. "Let the truth come out about
Pres. Obama and Hillary Clinton and shout it from the housetops".
I had not necessarily heard those words
in connection with them anywhere in any recent time. Those words came
out of my mouth with much conviction. Now I'm hearing this woman talking
about the truth concerning Mr O and Michelle and what does she say?
"I'm going to shout it from the housetops!" I have seen the tape where
Pres Obama is talking about his wife and he calls her MICHAEL, not Michelle. That
would be like someone calling their wife 'Larry' instead of 'Lucy' for example.
And it is funny how Joan Rivers died shortly after that in spite of the fact
that her condition was never that serious to begin with from all accounts.
Its time for the liars to be called out. If Pres O will lie about that, don't
you see he is capable of lying about anything, including his place of birth.
There are so many mysterious murders, "accidents", and suicides surrounding
the Clintons and Obamas it's uncanny. And yet, it's all a "coincidence" I'm
sure. And yet so many are so easily duped it's scary to think that so many
can be fooled by these people. Ask the ones that know Hillary C and have worked
with her the closest for years and they will tell you she is a horror to work
with and for. Yet as soon as the cameras come around she is suddenly all smiles
and warmth. Don't be fooled by the snakes, people. Like I said before, if they
lied to the American people about one significant thing, they will lie about
anything, and probably have.

Well congratulations yes all the decisions have been made by a abombanation in the eyes of his. Amen

Going down the rabbit hole, we find the original article that started this rumor that Michelle Obama Is A Man. This video is a compilation of "Where It All Began".
Watch this video for a more comprehensive viewing of the information I researched to debunk the article that stated:

"Shocking New Revelation about Michelle Obama: A Must Read, Christwire Exclusive" By Matthew B. Glosser JUNE 30, 2011 has had its story lifted, in total and spread around the Internet on several "right wing websites" and is the most often quoted proof that this story about Michelle Being a Man, is True.

However, upon further research I came across this article By Adam Pasic, entitled, "The Guys Behind Christwire, Creating Parody From ‘Glenn Beck on Steroids" This site ( was mentioned in a 2010 article by the New York Times as being a satirical site.

A Niche of the Unreal in a World of Credulity

"“Let’s write stuff to expose how stupid people are.”" Mr. Butvidas, editor of

Hopkins Hospital: a history of sex reassignment
By The News-Letter on May 1, 2014
Debunking the Michelle Obama is A Man rumor with an article about John Hopkins History of Sex Reassignment Surgery.

Where It All Began. I am presenting the lie and then I am debunking it. Don't just watch the first few minutes of the videos, watch the entire thing, in fact, make sure you watch this one where I expose the lie in total!!
Part 9 & 9B Where it all began
Please watch, thank you!!

I hope someone has a copy of all these videos as they are being scrubbed as we speak.

Try this link, YouTube is doing it's thing.

Greetings, try this link, YouTube is doing what it does as far as url being accurate.

Take away all the glam and it's easy to see that the witch is obviously a warlock!

Eric Garner Criminal Past Emerges: 30 Arrests In 34 Years, Including Assault

Eric Garner had a criminal past. That's just one of the new reveals in a post from conservative media site Newsmax and another from the Wall Street Journal.

The Newsmax post, entitled "11 Facts About the Eric Garner Case the Media Won't Tell You," attempts to explain how a grand jury of 23 could bring no charges against the cop who used an illegal chokehold that would result in the so-called "gentle giant's" death.

"Garner, 43, had history of more than 30 arrests dating back to 1980, on charges including assault and grand larceny," writes Newsmax's Jim Meyers, taking his information from the WSJ report.

(Interesting side note: That would make Garner's first arrest at just 10-years-old, which calls into question how WSJ got its info since those early records should, by all accounts, be unavailable to the public considering Garner was a juvenile at the time he was brought in for the unspecified offense.)

Meyers notes that at the time of Garner's death, he was "out on bail after being charged with illegally selling cigarettes, driving without a license, marijuana possession, and false impersonation."

Former New York City police commissioner Bernard Kerik, adding meat to Meyers' report, attempts to place the death of Eric Garner on the man himself, noting that on the day of Garner's death, he was illegally selling untaxed cigarettes, and that he is technically resisting arrest in the now-viral video depicting his death.

"You cannot resist arrest," Kerik states.

Instead, the people pointing out that Eric Garner was a criminal claim it would have been arrest number 31 over a 34-year period.

Even so, there is the fact that Officer Daniel Pantaleo can be seen on the video below applying a banned chokehold to Garner. To this point, Newsmax notes that the chokehold alone should not have been enough to kill Garner.

At 350 pounds, Garner suffered from "a number of health problems, including heart disease, severe asthma, diabetes, obesity, and sleep apnea."

Also, Garner did not die at the scene, a common misconception among those discussing the case on social media. Instead he "suffered cardiac arrest in the ambulance taking him to the hospital and was pronounced dead about an hour later," Newsmax notes.

Last but not least, the site points out that the 23 grand jurors, "including nine non-white jurors," heard evidence and testimony over a more than two-month period and that unlike in the Ferguson case of Michael Brown, the evidence has not been made public so going by just the video leaves out a lot regarding why and how the grand jury reached its decision. As a final footnote to the post, Newsmax takes on a popular social media meme -- that the officer under review for killing Eric Garner was not arrested but the man who shot the initial video of it was -- revealing the reason why the man was arrested.

Does Eric Garner and his criminal past change the way you think about this case? Sound off in our comments section.

Julia Roberts tried to put the past behind her

While chatting with Vanity Fair in 2018, Eric Roberts opened up about his rocky relationship with his sisters, Julia and Lisa Roberts. "They were precious to me, and we had times of great closeness," he said. However, his drug use created a divide. "I was exhausting to be around," Eric admitted. In addition to "alienat[ing]" his famous sister, Eric also revealed that his drug use might have affected his career. "I would go to meetings with people that mattered . and I would go stoned."

"Complainy, blamey, unable to enjoy enjoyment. Everyone in my world needed a break sometimes, and that must have included Julia." Eric tried to get back on track, though. Over the years, he worked to overcome his addictions before landing on Celebrity Rehab in 2010. His time with Dr. Drew seemingly did the trick. "Some of the best shows he's done, he's done since Celebrity Rehab," Eric's wife, Eliza, told Vanity Fair.

As for his relationship with Julia, it turns out that the sibling bond was strong enough to facilitate a reconciliation. The duo buried the hatchet when Julia gave birth to twins in 2004. Eric told Vanity Fair that when he visited Julia in the hospital, he was "ushered into their room and was immediately awash in brotherly and uncle-ly love." These days, the siblings spend holidays together and are "e-mail buddies," per the outlet.

It seems the actors were able to put the past behind them. Maybe time really does heal all wounds.

Watch the video: Aretha Franklin - I Was Made For You with Eric Robinson (August 2022).