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February 2015


NTP’s New Work Progresses, And Installment II of “Unbowed and Unquestioned Politically."

Ferdinand Pecora

NTP remains involved in a collaborative artistic work about Ferdinand Pecora—a play titled “The Reckoning” that has undergone table readings in New York.  Who was the famed Senate Counsel who revealed Wall Street wrongdoing in 1933 in a manner not witnessed since, and how did he do it?  Why does such wrongdoing persist? Here is an excerpt from Installment II of NTP’s three part series, “Unbowed and Unquestioned Politically:” “The moment Pecora raised the [1911] opinion and its plainly worded reasoning, at stake was not just the discomfort it caused the Bank and the tone it set for the hearing, but the way it exposed the lawyers, who the Solicitor General, with the concurrence of the Attorney General, concluded had concocted an institutional scheme that violated the law.”

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“Unbowed and Unquestioned Politically II"


In Antarctica: Haunting Remnants.

There are two former whaling stations on South Georgia, along the north coast, in the bay at Stromness and the inlet at Grivitken. They were and continue to be the island’s only civilization, now as testaments to a mixed heritage worthy of learning. They have two meanings: Shackleton’s ship Endurance departed in 1914 from Grytviken. And he returned in 1916 to Stromness, with two other men after crossing the island’s unmapped interior in his effort, ultimately successful, to rescue his crew. We saw what Shackleton saw, without the burden of snow and ice.

The second meaning: These stations—constructed in the early 20th century, and operated by Norwegians—were massive butcheries for tens of thousands of whales, captured within easy proximity, skinned, cooked until only valuable oil remained, the carcass discarded to rot among an already violent stench enhanced by the deliberate killing of fur seals for their pelts. Industrial-sized remnants of efficiency remain, surrounded by vertical snow covered hills and cliffs.

The explosive harpoon gun looms large, its purpose made tangible in the imagination. Few whalers ventured beyond the station’s perimeter.  They were, as once poetically referenced, “the Caliban of the Pole.”


NTP determined "worthy of notice" on Wikipedia.

In Antarctica. Shackleton Gray.

What you see and experience in Antarctica are grand and changing settings, the feeling one of clarity, cleanliness, confidence if it had a personality, and the unforgiving nature of the climate and terrain. Its beauty and brutal roughness is a powerful lure: it’s easy to see why explorers came and came again, why men would spend years with little connection to the outside world, and why Ernest Shackleton could not stay away. At base was and continues to be risk.

In “White or Black or Shackleton Gray,” I explore its meaning to me, and during the expedition where I came to appreciate in sharp, momentary ways, that “ judgment, physicality, and luck meld together to form the intuitive response to save your limb or life or your journey’s purpose.”

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“White or Black or Shackleton Gray"


In Antarctica: Wildlife.

The giant albatross appeared immediately in the Drake Passage; symbolic of guilt worn in perpetual shame if it was not properly revered in flight; made famous by Samuel Coleridge; and in some settings, the symbolism is still used in common parlance. With its ten-foot wing span, it glided with seeming relish in and around the ship’s wake or whipped gracefully passed the bow without flapping its wings, demonstrating the confidence and poise of no other bird. Its wingspan serves as an informal measurement of the sea swells’ height—close to 30 feet at times. Only the most sophisticated of cameras and the amateur ornithologists’ expertise were able to capture it in flight. We saw a large colony nestled quietly on the Falklands.

The penguin—we saw four, maybe five of nine species. They are a wonder to follow: largely unafraid of people, able to withstand incredibly fierce, 60 mile an hour winds, nurturing themselves and offspring in massive colonies of tens of thousands, some colonies so high on a snow and ice-slick mountain side so as to make their journey unimaginable until you see and record it.

We encountered them from the Falkland Islands through the Antarctic.  Not even the whale captures the Antarctic’s emblematic meaning of confidence in adversity.
The Fur and Elephant Seals were present throughout South Georgia; often in such numbers and relative small size that they easily blended into the rock and sand, which made it easy to get too close and incur their wrath.

The most fearsome animal was the Elephant Seal. They are the threat; enormous in size—some exceeding 20 feet in length and five tons in weight—holding tightly to their turf, preparing for mating, rearing up in vociferous roar that echoes within the bay, and a quick gallop that defies their size directed against any seal or human who comes too close. Mouth opened, neck extended, teeth bared in anger. A constant vigilance is required to walk between them.



To a High Court is now available as an iBook on all Apple devices and as an eBook available on Amazon for Kindle.


Buy The Rights of My People paperback or the hardcover now on
Copyright © 2015 Neil Thomas Proto, All rights reserved.

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