Four Dead in Ohio

May 4, 2010 | 35 comments
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Kent_State_massacreWhat if you knew her and  /
Found her dead on the ground?  /
How can you run when you know?

Today is the 40th anniversary of the Kent State Massacre. Have we learned what we should have from the tragedy?

The massacre became an emblem of the conflict over the Vietnam War in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It began as a student protest at Kent State University in Northeastern Ohio over the Nixon Administration’s decision to expand military operations into Cambodia. The excesses of the protest led to damage to businesses in downtown Kent, Ohio and the destruction by arson of the campus ROTC building. In response, on May 2nd the governor of Ohio called out the National Guard, who at the time were armed with just bayonets and M1 rifles.

The students called a new protest for May 4th, drawing 2,000 despite the distribution of 12,000 fliers by the Guard and administration claiming that the protest had been canceled. When the Guard told the group to disperse, the protesters threw stones at them. With bayonets fixed, the guard forced the protesters to leave, although many milled around the campus, delaying their exit.

One group of guardsmen, after the crowd was leaving, inexplicably opened fire, wounding nine and killing four, although no one was within 70 feet of the guardsmen, and the troops were under no immediate threat. The dead included two passersby, one of whom, ironically, was an ROTC student.

The incident led to a national outcry. Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young recorded their song Ohio (lyrics quoted in part above) less than 3 weeks after the tragedy. Student photographer John Filo’s photo (above) of the aftermath went on to win the Pulitzer Prize. More significantly, the event went on to widely influence public opinion about the war.

The U.S. has learned some things from Kent State and other protest incidents. Our police are better trained and better equipped to handle protests when they turn violent — professionally trained riot police have largely replaced the National Guard and rubber bullets and batons have replaced the .30-06 rounds and bayonets used at Kent State. While protests are still sometimes violent and protesters are sometimes arrested, we no longer see police firing live rounds and protesters usually don’t die (not in the U.S.).

Of course, this lesson about how to handle protests isn’t the only thing we could learn from Kent State. I worry that we haven’t learned a larger lesson about the use of force.

To a degree, we are all complicit in how force is used officially in our society. The message we send to police and politicians about security, the types of materials and budget we provide police, what tasks we want police to taken on, all influence how and when police use force. The rubber bullets we now provide police and the water cannons sometimes used clearly indicate that a loss of life is much less acceptable than it once was. The U.K.’s refusal to allow the average beat cop to carry a gun shows a different view of when force is acceptable and how it should be used.

Please don’t think I’m being naive about this. I’m not suggesting that force can never be used or that our police don’t need to carry guns. I am suggesting that we are, to a degree, responsible for what results occur because of the materials, training, funding and mission that we give police and anyone else we allow to use force.

The use of force is usually best left as a last resort. Deciding when it should be used is often difficult. And I fear that in our current security-conscious post 9/11 world, we resort to force too easily and too directly. We seem to want police to handle many tasks that don’t involve threats to life, limb or property and then arm them with the ability to intimidate those who violate into cooperation. In other cases, we emphasize security and “law and order” so much that our politicians ratchet up the harshness of sentences to satisfy public opinion. We seem to be so worried about enforcement and penalties that we lose the larger picture — the laws, motivations, economics, and culture around a problem. Calls that focus on punishing the bad guys or increasing enforcement often miss the larger picture. As every good parent knows, force alone rarely solves anything.

Mormon history has seen our people on both sides of the unjustified or misapplied use of force. The persecution we faced led to what was once called the Mormon Creed: Mind your own business. While I certainly don’t think we should do this in everything. But when it comes to the use of force, it seems to me to be fairly sound policy. If you don’t have a “dog in the fight” why get involved? Should we really push government into using force to eliminate every evil? Or can we find another way (perhaps persuasion and long suffering?) to combat some of them? And couldn’t other problems be influenced simply by changing the conditions, reducing or eliminating what leads to the evils around us?

Given the political stalemate around abortion, for example, persuasion and long suffering, and perhaps seeking to change conditions around abortion, may be a more effective way to combat this problem. Or, as another example, more and stronger drug treatment programs could be a better deterrent in some cases to long-term prison sentences. I’m no expert in these areas, but I don’t think other voters are either. From what I see, the assumption among most of the public seems to be that we must “throw the book at them” instead of finding what works. [In my own view, this is what's going on with the Arizona law, but that's a little off topic.]

There are, of course, other things to learn from Kent State. A whole protest culture has arisen since the 1960s, and I’m not sure that this culture has learned all the lessons it should from the shootings at Kent State. Neither protesters nor their detractors seem to have learned much about how to discuss an issue without rancor — and from that we could easily look at the idea expressed in the recent General Conference, that we need to learn to “disagree without being disagreeable.”

But I think the ideas about the use of force are perhaps the most crucial of the lessons remaining to be learned. In memoriam of the victims of Kent State, as well as other victims of unjustified and misapplied force, I pray that we learn them soon.

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35 Responses to Four Dead in Ohio

  1. Chris Henrichsen on May 4, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    Thanks, Ken. C,S,N, and Y’s “Ohio” get me teary or angry depending on the day.

  2. CatherineWO on May 4, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    Thank you for this thoughtful post. I was a freshman in college on May 4, 1970 and I remember the feelings of that day. It was a very scary time. As any parent knows, fear often engenders anger. Certainly fear provided motivation for both the student protesters and the national guard, as it does in much of the discord we hear of today. I agree with you that we need to search for ways to de-escalate the violence, both the physical and the verbal. It can begin on a very personal level with our own discourse and interactions with each other. President Hinckley encouraged us to be a little “nicer.” It sounds somewhat trite, but if done collectively, perhaps it would make a difference in the world at large.

  3. queuno on May 4, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    This is one of those tragedies that continues to haunt a town that would love to move forward.

  4. Mark D. on May 5, 2010 at 1:33 am

    It’s one of those live by the sword, die by the sword kind of things. If protesters do not want to risk excessive force being used in response, they should take care never to exercise undue (if any) force themselves.

    If you commit enough violence, it is practically guaranteed that at some point the response is going to get out of hand. It is a miracle of the modern age that most of the time riot police can deal with a bona fide riot without actually killing someone. A century ago, a riot that involved significant property damage would generally lead to people getting shot on sight until the riot was quelled.

  5. Dave on May 5, 2010 at 7:32 am

    Yeah, lots to be said on both sides of this tragic event. Perhaps it’s a sign of the times that the event looms so large in historical memory primarily because it was memorialized in a rock anthem. Without the song, would we even remember it?

  6. Tim on May 5, 2010 at 7:56 am

    Mark D.,
    While I agree with you on a basic level, I have higher expectations for police and military than I do for ordinary college students. The government should be setting a good example, not a horrifically bad one, in the way they use force. They are, after all, being paid by the taxpayers, including in some cases the very people they use force against. And they should be well-trained on how to resolve conflict without using deadly or potentially deadly force.

  7. Jared D on May 5, 2010 at 8:20 am

    Mark D.

    As the example cited above shows, when demonstrations are held in public spaces, passers-by can, and do, get caught up in the group, and are treated as demonstrators (recent demonstrations in the City of London, protesting at bank practices, Illustrated this point; police cut off the area and used crowd control for protestors and non-protestors alike). So not everyone who dies by the sword is living by the sword.

    Also what if crowd control of peaceful demonstrations involves pushing the crowd back using riot shields and batons. Then what if the crowd reacts by pushing back, throwing missiles and such like. Are you implying the demonstrators have brought whatever further physical consequences (that are meted out by the authorities)upon themselves, and have no reason to complain if a person loses their life?

    The problem here is not the policing and restraining of crowds. The problem is one of unrighteous dominion (consider London police who at the G20 protests hid their badges so they were not identifiable and hence were less accountable for their actions).

    I’m all for peaceful protests, and I believe that where I live (in the UK) we have become docile and are losing our rights and we should protest more (but that’s another subject). However, those who enforce the law must be accountable for the level of force they use to maintain order, otherwise you give a free reign for abuse to take place.

  8. Jared D on May 5, 2010 at 8:21 am

    Kent. thanks I am procrastinating and was wondering what I should listen to while I get to work – a bit of Neil Young will do nicely.

  9. Teresa on May 5, 2010 at 8:33 am

    No one seems to think about the danger the police put themselves in when they are responding to these “events”. They have no idea what to expect really. I am glad training is better now. But why have police if they can’t use every means possible to keep a big crowd under control. I know what happened at Kent was a tragedy. But going to the extreme (like the UK) and not allowing them to carry a weapon is not good. There would be no sense in having police. More protests happen with our police doing a fantastic job controlling angry protesters, than protests that end in violence. The sad thing is we remember the shocking events and dwell on that instead of looking at the thousands of times things went well.

  10. Bob on May 5, 2010 at 9:30 am

    #5: Dave, I will remember Kent State without a song. It was a black day and a hugh mistake. Some students kept pushing the issue, The Guard should never been given live ammunition. It got out of hand.
    It was a high/low point of college protest. My school closed down for the rest of the year ( 3 wks to go?). We all sat down with the professors and picked our final grades. ( A grade based our work logged in the book, a pass/fail, or an incomplete so the class could be taken again). This happened in many schools. It was a sad and angry time to be in college.

  11. Jared D on May 5, 2010 at 9:33 am

    Teresa. Our (UK) police are allowed weapons when weapons are deemed as required (e.g. bank robberies). Our police do not carry weapons routinely on patrol and still manage to maintain the law, they have recently started to carry tazers and have big sticks! I think it’s a mind-set thing. We don’t jail people here in this country for long durations when compared with the US, but if you shoot a cop, you’re going down for a long long time. Also gun crime is relatively low (guns are largely prohibited here). So our police have little need to carry guns. Yes a person can run from a policeman, without fear of being shot at, but police will just for call back up and a criminal will probably get caught and end up in more trouble for resisting arrest. So it’s a culture thing – not having armed cops in the UK is a good thing, we don’t want guns on our streets – even if it’s the ‘good guys’ and it lessens the chance that criminals will feel the need to up the ante and arm themselves. However, in the US I should imagine, a cop without a gun would be seen as effectual as a mall security guard? What will be interesting is watching how the greeks deal with the riots, will police (who as public sector employees will be feeling the the effects of the government’s austerity cuts first hand) be sympathetic to the rioters??

  12. nasamomdele on May 5, 2010 at 11:02 am

    Supposedly an FBI report was released yesterday detailing rioting beforehand by the protesters. It makes me think the event was bubbling over badly by the time the shots were fired.

    I think the lesson to be learned is general civility- don’t hurl stones in protest, and- in America, or an otherwise democratic society, you can’t exert force over those that disagree with you.

  13. Bob on May 5, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    #12: I have to say I attended one of the most protesting school in CA. The campus was about 1/3 completed. The rest open grass place where every big name came to speak to the protesting groups. More like rallies than riots. The LAPD showed up once because the school called them in. The police lined up in one row with their clubs, and started walking slowly at the group. The group just left. If you felt a need to be arrested, you just sat down and waited.
    Things changed after Kent State__school became impossible. Steel trash cans were forever rolling down the halls. Two or three students would enter the classrooms about every ten minutes and yell “Shut it down”!! They did.

  14. Crick on May 5, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    I agree with the thrust of the tenth paragraph that some issues would probably be better addressed up front with something other than force.

    But other aspects of this post lead me to believe (perhaps wrongly) that the author thinks force itself is a human construct and not really necessary—that maybe it’s a product of our choices and culture rather than our nature. I think its both. While I try to see the good in society, history shows that a critical chunk of people will only behave because of the threat of force. Lawyers like to think that “Brown vs. Board of Ed”; decided peacefully by smart guys in robes was the turning point against discrimination in education. But nothing really happened until Presidents sent in the 101st Airborne (or federalized the National Guard) nearly a century after the Civil War. That’s what got things done.

    Imagine if there were no police (with or without guns). What if there were no jails? How many would pay their speeding tickets with no threat of a warrant for their arrest? And that is just an example that applies to most “law abiding citizens”—to say nothing of more heinous acts. Would people vacate their foreclosed homes without a constable or sheriff to force them too (or the worse alternative of having the bank or new buyer hire a vigilante?). And why do we pay bills? Because ultimately a court will enforce the judgment and the court ultimately has the coercive power of government at its disposal. Even the credit reports have the sanction of Congressional law. And even though Equifax won’t send armed guards after you, there is a reason that society pays more attention to Congress than obscure consumer groups. Follow the logic and you realize it’s because Congress’s authority is backed by force.

    My experience is that the coercive power of a democratic state equals the same level of power in a dictatorship; the difference is, democracies have figured out how to mitigate it with checks, balances and modern procedures (to disperse that power among many if you will, plus the rule of law). But at the end of the day, it’s that coercive power that keeps many people obeying those very laws and institutions. I think force is almost as necessary now as it was centuries ago, but that it has receded further into the background of our culture. Like the author, I hope it continues to do so…but I don’t expect it to outlive its usefulness.

  15. Elwood Johnson on May 6, 2010 at 7:55 am

    We must remember the National Guard had no business being on the Kent State Campus. At that time most of the Guard was just guy’s that played war once a month. There should have professional police that have received much more training then the National Guards. We must consider the guy that works behind the counter at the Woolworths now has a gun in his hand with minimal training for this type of situation. I was a teenager at the time Kent State happened. This single event changed my life forever. I no long was the nave kid from Indiana. My faith that these things would never happen in the US was shaken.
    I remember as if it just yesterday a comment that was made the next day, “They should have shot a lot more of those SOB’s”. From that point on there is no way that I can ever be anything but liberal for the rest of my life

  16. jimbob on May 6, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    First and foremost, the lesson on force to be taken from Kent State is not to throw rocks at people with guns. It’s a piece of commonsense advice akin to “don’t punch your older and stronger brother in the stones unless you’re confident you can get behind a locked door quickly” or “don’t poke a hornets’ nest with sticks unless you’re wearing thick clothing covering your entire body.”

  17. Bob on May 6, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    #16: You are right Jimbob. The students should have had guns too. Then there would be hundreds dead.
    The Guardsmen should never have had bullets. (First and foremost).

  18. jimbob on May 6, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    “The students should have had guns too. Then there would be hundreds dead.”

    Which, in turn, would have made a much more interesting song from CSNY than “Ohio.”

  19. Bob on May 6, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    I have always felt “For What It’s Worth” (Buffalo Springfield), as the theme song of the students protest.

  20. Raymond Takashi Swenson on May 7, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    I was on my misison in Japan when this happened, so I have little detailed knowledge about the event. I can’t see how firing a rifle under these circumstances was justified by either a need for self defense, defense of property, or to stop a violent felony or the escape of a violent felon, the only cases in which a police officer is justified in the use of force. It should have been clear who fired his weapon and who was killed (they had ballistics tests then), so the guardsman that did so should have been prosecuted for murder or at least manslaughter. What happened?

    As was noted, members of the national guard (at least back then) were not trained in the kind of courage and techniques and judgment necessary to maintain peace and order and protect innocent people from harm in the face of rioters or “demonstrators” who all too often think they have a privilege to loot and pillage. They had only the most elementary training in killing someone using bullets and bayonets and obeying orders. Today’s soldiers get a lot more training in dealing with civilians, as is manifest in Iraq, where the value of the “surge” was that it put enough soldiers on the ground to protect civilian Iraqis from reprisals from Jihadists.

    The Kent State killings were at the tail end of a long history of militias being used to oppose unarmed or more poorly armed civilians with deadly force, going back to incidents like the Boston Massacre, the many massacres by militia or the US Army of Indian villages in the West, killing of striking workers in the 19th and early 20th Centuries, the Hauns Mill massacre, the Mountain Meadows Massacre, and the massacre at My Lai in Vietnam.

    The people who called out the National Guard at Kent State were stupid. The use in keeping order is only appropriate when civil authority has broken down, such as happened during the 1992 riot in Los Angeles after the verdict in the trial of the police who beat Rodney King. (In that case, the LAPD refused to enforce the law, and practically invited lawlessness by refusing to put themselves in harm’s way and defend the innocent against rioters and looters.) Putting soldiers armed with bayonets and rifles, weapons whose only use is to kill, in confrontation with people who were NOT threatening to kill anyone, was creating the possibility of exactly what occurred, a stupid overreaction that was as deadly as the killings by crazies at Virginia Tech and Fort Hood.

    That action was on a par with the stupidity of the sheriff in Colorado who refused to let any police go into Columbine High School while the shooters were going through the school. Every person killed in that school after the first five minutes was dead only because of the idiocy and cowardice of the senior law enforcement officer. The lesson police departments have learned from that experience is that, when someone starts shooting innocent people, you confront him as fast as you can with maximum force, which is how the shooter at the Trolley Square Mall in Salt Lake was stopped.

    So appropriate use of force by government includes both immediate reaction with deadly force against those who kill or threaten to kill, and restraint with less than deadly force against people who are not killing or threatening to kill. It seems like simple common sense, but unnecessary loss of innocent life in both kinds of cases has happened because of the cowardice of officials in government who lacked the common sense and courage to accept the risk of non-deadly force on the one hand, or to expose themselves to illegal deadly force on the other. In either case, Cowardice Kills.

  21. Raymond Takashi Swenson on May 7, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    Let me add one more instance of the unjustified use of deadly force by a cowardly militia: The murder of Joseph and Hyrum Smith in Carthage Jail. The fact that the militia attacked essentially unarmed men confined in a jail, but ran at the first suggestion that the Nauvoo Legion was heading to Carthage, demonstrates how much their murders were prompted by their cowardice. They feared the unity and capability of the Mormons, and resorted to deadly force to cut short what they (irrationally) thought was a growing threat.

    The Guardsman who fired his rifle at Kent State was an heir to the cowardly precedent of the Carthage Grays.

  22. Alison Moore Smith on May 8, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    Kent, I found this very interesting. I was born in 1964, so most of the 60′s was stuff I only really leaned about later. Honestly, most of what I read (and hear and see) makes me really glad I was a teen later on. I don’t have much respect for the general hippie movement.

    Mormon Creed: Mind your own business. While I certainly don’t think we should do this in everything. But when it comes to the use of force, it seems to me to be fairly sound policy. If you don’t have a “dog in the fight” why get involved?

    I’ve never heard this reference before. My answer to the question would be, “Because other people — good people, innocent people — do.”

  23. Amanda on May 9, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    #6- “I have higher expectations for police and military than I do for ordinary college students. ” not sure why you do. Do you know what the requirements for your average joe-schmoe police officer are? Not very high. Certainly not a college degree. So unless you’re willing to ante up some more tax money to 1)pay for trainings for police officers and 2) increase the appeal (benefits, pay etc) to become a police officer/military in order to attract higher quality candidates….well, we get what we pay for.

  24. Alison Moore Smith on May 9, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    Just read this article this morning:

    Guard may have been ordered to fire at Kent State

  25. Tom52 on May 9, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    I also come late to this discussion and didn’t really expect to see the topic come up here (thanks Kent…appropriate name). I was about to graduate HS in California in 1970 and have always had the images from Kent State in my memory. I have been living a few miles from the university for about a year now and have walked the campus a few times pondering what took place there and trying to make sense of it all.

    It turns out that after one year of college I went to southeast Asia as an LDS missionary, a strange juxtaposition to be sure, since while I was serving, the draft lottery back in the US picked 84 on my birthday which would have assured my being drafted upon the expiration of my ministerial deferment. The draft was discontinued before I returned home in 1973.

    I did not then and I do not now understand the general LDS acceptance of war and it’s use as a solution to geopolitical disputes. It is strange to me that some can consider Joseph Smith to be prophetic in regard to the American Civil War and yet his successors had nothing to say objecting to the hell that was let loose on Vietnam and Cambodia via US involvement there or predicting what that involvement would lead to. I was a short distance away from the US carpet bombing of Cambodia which virtually created the Khmer Rouge and the Killing Fields of Cambodia.

    The protesters at Kent State symbolically buried the US Constitution on campus when the news broke that President Nixon had invaded Cambodia. In my opinion they were right about that even though at the time I doubt they could know how right they were (though I am not an expert on executive power and the constitution). Ohio Governor Rhodes was up for re-election in a few days and he sent in the Ohio National Guard. He lost the election, but I doubt he ever realized how terribly wrong he was. I don’t need to be an expert to evaluate that SOB.

    The sixties sometimes bring first to mind “hippies” (#22), but that is an uninformed or maybe bias mistake. The sixties were the BIG BANG in America. War (hot and cold), assassinations, civil rights and timeless music (anthems) that describe those events. I feel blessed to have been there if for no other reason than to be able to give my children perspective. Stephen Stills was here a few weeks ago and performed in a little theater in downtown Kent. The last song he performed that night was “Ohio”. That last line tells the story better than any other words I can think of and it was like a howl from deep down inside of him as he repeated them.

    It’s Mother’s Day and last week I listened to the mother of Allison Krause (one of the 4) speak about that day. You could tell that for her it was like yesterday. You can listen to her memories and those of others that were recorded last week at this site.

  26. Tim on May 9, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    #23–
    Police may not get a huge amount of training or a large salary, and they should get more of both (if that means higher taxes, then so be it). They should certainly get a reasonable amount of use of a police car when they’re off duty (it’s a nice perk and it probably has a large deterrent effect on crime).

    My higher expectations for military and police is based off the fact that they are hired to protect the rest of us. That’s why we pay them money. They therefore have more of a responsibility than the average Joe. When they take actions that contradict that responsibility, that betrayal is deeper and more serious than some college freshman throwing a rock.

    And yes, the man (or men) who opened fire, as well as the person who ordered them to take loaded guns with them, should have been prosecuted.

  27. Alison Moore Smith on May 9, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    Tom52 (#25), it may be uninformed, but my memories of the anti-war counter-culture stuff are all infused with “free love” and drugs and aversion to hygiene. And Coke.

    Music is such a personal thing. I don’t know what particular songs you’re referring to, but there is very little 60′s music that I’d call “timeless” or even good. It’s so drug-infused — most of them can’t even hold the pitch, let alone hold their heads up. (At least I assume it has something to do with substances, not just innately crappy musical ability.) I’ve grown up hearing it and to me it’s not positive or uplifting at all. Now 80s music, that’s another story. ;)

    I just clicked over to Stills website. It plays a song automatically (don’t know if it’s always the same), but on e of my kids was walking through my office (has no idea what this was about) and said, “Oh, mom. Why? Is he drunk?” You have to admit he sounds buzzed. That’s what I’m talking about. It all sounds kind of like that to me. :/

  28. Alison Moore Smith on May 9, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    Tim #26, I’m not an expert on the national guard, but are it’s members allowed to choose which orders to ignore? If not, then to prosecute those following direct orders is ludicrous.

  29. Peter LLC on May 10, 2010 at 1:28 am

    Now 80s music, that’s another story. ;)

    Ah, yes, that drug-free decade known primarily for the founding of D.A.R.E.

  30. Bob on May 10, 2010 at 8:56 am

    #29: Servicemen are not to carry out an unlawful orders. But that is a hard/gray line to judge or follow.
    I was in the Marines before Kent state. Officers had full control of live rounds. Only they could put them directly into my hand. I would be ORDEDED to load them into my “magazine”. The next ORDER would be “Lock and load”( load magazine into rifle). Next ORDER “prepare to fire. Last ORDER “Fire”. I would expect ( had it gone that far at Kent State), a warning shots into the air should have first been ORDEDED. (All my shots would have been only in the air).

  31. SLO Sapo on May 10, 2010 at 9:32 am

    “… but there is very little 60’s music that I’d call ‘timeless’ or even good.”

    Yeah. Beatles. James Brown. Supremes. Beach Boys. Rolling Stones. Bob Dylan. Aretha Franklin. Sam Cooke. Jimi Hendrix. Ray Charles. All justifiably forgotten for their mediocre music.

  32. Alison Moore Smith on May 11, 2010 at 10:40 am

    SLO Sapo, opinion is opinion, as I said. You like it. I like “very little.” Of your entire list the Supremes and Aretha Franklin are the only ones I like. Throw in a couple of slurred Beach Boys numbers for fun. But that doesn’t make them timeless.

    For the record, the 80′s was my decade. I love a lot of the music, but in spite of my personal preference, I wouldn’t call it “timeless” either. The fact that people in my age group are going to buy the complete “Classics of the 80′s” from an infomercial doesn’t make them classics. Even if the current generation remakes “Whip It!” and every known Spandeau Ballet song. And not even if I can (and I can!) sing every B-52s song by memory.

    But I’ll give the 60s a point for “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”. :)

  33. Alison Moore Smith on May 11, 2010 at 10:44 am

    Bob, thanks for the clarification. What constitutes an “unlawful order” as far as the Kent State situation goes?

  34. Bob on May 11, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    #34: Again, a hard question to answer. But for that Kent State day, I would say an order for me to shoot unarmed U.S. citizens, would be unlawful.

  35. Bob on May 11, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    #33: I will have to go with Sapo on this: the 80s have no one to compare with the 60s. Sapo even left off Elvis!