Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

In 1921, Albert Einstein made his first visit the United States, the country he would later make his home some 15 years later. He was 42 years old. The trip, in the company of Chaim Weizman, was a fundraising trip aimed at raising money for the yet to be founded Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Einstein was an odd convert to Zionism since he was at best skeptical of the entire concept of nationalism. But a mix of his deep attachment to his Jewish heritage and the rising tide of anti-Semitism in Europe made him a committed Zionist for most of his adult life. His trip actually divided American Jews, as the more desperate and intense European Zionism clashed with its more restrained and cautious American counterpart. Many American Jews were not Zionists at all and saw the movement as an obstacle to full their acceptance as Americans.

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For years the prospect of a new Islamic caliphate has entranced the minds of jihadi crazies around the globe and their polar opposite western islamophobes. Now ISIS has officially declared a reborn Caliphate with its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as the new Caliph. They've even conjured up a purported genealogy for al-Baghdadi, making him a descendent of Muhammad. In an ancillary rebranding they've also dropped the IS or IL from their four letter abbreviation, now going simply by IS for "Islamic State", as in, the Islamic state, the only legitimate one.

From a Department of Justice press release ...

WASHINGTON – Ahmed Abu Khatallah, aka Ahmed Mukatallah, made his first appearance today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on a federal terrorism offense arising from his alleged participation in the Sept. 11 through 12, 2012, terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, which resulted in the deaths of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.

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John Coltrane, US Navy enlistment photo. 1945.

Coltrane, born in 1926, is 18 years old in the photo. From the Tumblr of Jazz at Lincoln Center ...

In 1945 John Coltrane, at the age of 18, entered the Navy as a “volunteer apprentice seaman” and a year later made his first recording with a Navy band called the “Melody Masters.”

The Melody Masters, a segregated band stationed in Oahu, HI were not officially allowed to play with black musicians. An Excerpt from the book “Coltrane: The Story of Sound” By Ben Ratliff states that Coltrane appeared as a guest of The Melody Masters by evading the knowledge of their superior officers. The band made private recordings together, eventually pressing four copies of a 78 RPM record.