When he was 12, he joined the Children’s Crusade in Birmingham and was thrown in jail. At 15, he entered college, studied mathematics, and went on to lead the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, bringing legions of under-represented students to STEM studies and STEM professions. He is America’s secret STEM mentor.
He served in the special forces in Iraq, as a defense policy advisor to NATO, and now teaches international relations at West Point, where a woman colleague gently explained male privilege. He got it: “I had this advantage, in that I’m kind of a fat-headed, broad-shouldered man with badges and gadgets.”
The CEO of PEN America, she has good news and bad news. “We’re not seeing a lot of book burning, thankfully, but we are seeing a kind of forest fire of book banning rippling it way across the United States.” Actually, that’s simply bad news.
These musicians admire the Buddhist teacher and “spiritual entertainer” Alan Watts, despite his having led a flamboyantly imperfect life. Debauchery is not strictly required, however; saintliness, too, has its appeal. “If you can be a shining example on this earth, that’s absolutely inspiring as well,” Rachael tells the New York Baha’i Center.
Affectionately called “Train Daddy,” he has run transit systems in London, Toronto, and New York, where few people in such jobs are affectionately called anything. He reflects with feeling on subways, seaports, and the almost moral duty to support your home team. “You can’t chop and change.”