The incredible Bill Scanlan and his wonderful colleagues of the Maverick Lecture Series at Trinity University in San Antonio welcomed me last week to the most extraordinary evening — we spoke about the NSA, privacy and security — and update of the ‘ten steps’ post-Snowden — but more than speaking I listened, as some of our country’s civil liberties heroes were my hosts. Bill represented detainees at Guantanamo; his brother John also devoted his legal skills to the oppressed; and both men, impressively to me, also served their country when called up for military duty. They gave me fascinating insight into why draft resistance – ie doing your service in some other way — is more honorable than draft evasion; I had never heard that distinction. Truly men of honor and patriotism.
Maury Maverick, in whose honor the lecture series is named, defended the Fourth Amendment in various court actions; and Naomi Shihab Nye, who is one of my favorite poets and whom I also had the pleasure of meeting at dinner, gives voice to hopes for peace among various Middle Eastern and other factions. Not to mention that San Antonio is magical in its own right, I was also shown one of the missions which was moving and chilling at the same time — empires past, and the record of thousands of native people wiped out by disease, or assimilated into what is now vibrant and warm Tejano culture. Also joined to my delight by my old friend John Phillip Santos, the well-known Tejano novelist of very great power — whom Naomi Nye had taught poetry when he was 16! An amazing visit — pictures to come!
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