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Revival

Opaque
Opaque or transparent? …Lest I Forget

Some six months ago, I shut down one of my many blogs, Observations: Lest I Forget  and transferred much of its content to this one. I fully intended to put new content here and leave the …Lest I Forget site to history.

Truth is, I have a lot about which I wish to opine, and enjoy doing so in different fora and diverse platforms. So  Observations: Lest I Forget is being revived today, with fresh content all its own.

Enjoy.

#history · history

Independency

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Arthur Szyk (1894-1951). Thomas_Jefferson’s Oath (1951), New Canaan, CT

If we equate patriotism with not working, our nation is very patriotic. Not much, from the government to laborers who feel doing a sloppy job is sufficient, seems to be working these days.


Voting with your wallet seems like a great idea. Boycotting companies whose line of politics does not meet with your own certainly can send a message.

Until that message leads to censorships, and companies fight back by withdrawing financial support from controversial speech and actions.


Unpopular opinion tends to go underground only to resurface when least expected. Sometimes it’s progressive, but most often it’s regressive. The Klan, for instance, already cowardly behind its white masks of sheets, emerges at political moments such as the one in which we find ourselves. Moments that lend just enough support to the uglier impulses in society, and give credence to troubling ideas, generally based on untruths.


What is the idea behind the District of Columbia? Was it meant to be an enclave populated by citizens from other parts of the country? Politicians, for instance, who would reside in Washington and vote at home?

Why are so many Americans deprived of their right to a voice in our elections?


Hamilton and Jefferson a love-hate story? Lin-Mauel help us make sense of all this?


That whole nativist thing doesn’t really fly in a country that started with a group of British subjects, not native to America, rebelling against their King and country across the seas.

They came as colonists to this land, as all immigrants do, to seek a better life. Economic and religious freedom, and opportunities are common denominators; this is what we all commonly seek for ourselves when we emigrate from one place to another.

#history · America · history · point of view · politics · riff

The 4th of July

376px-arthur_szyk_1894-1951-_thomas_jeffersons_oath_1951_new_canaan_ct
Arthur Szyk (1894-1951). Thomas_Jefferson’s Oath (1951), New Canaan, CT

Who needs civil liberties? The rights of our citizens were hard-won. Freedom did not just emerge from the blood and sweat of the Revolutionary War in documents of federation and constitutional laws. Some Americans had many more years to struggle to see their rights recognized. Many of our privileges evolved in the amendments to our Bill of Rights over the 3 centuries since that war established a United States.

The simple single answer is we all do. Remembering, as always, that with rights come responsibilities.

Sometimes it is not possible to quell the anger, fear and hatred of a policeman who stops a citizen for a tail-light violation. Situations get out of hand. The driver is arrested.

Many of the folks incarcerated have committed only the crime of “driving while black.” Responsible parents in the Afro-American community teach their children how to mitigate the outcomes of this very serious circumstance. It is one which affects the statistic in which 14% of a county’s population are prosecuted or jailed for more than 50% of the crimes committed there.

When 14% of a county’s population in places like Mississippi, for instance, are prosecuted for more than half the crimes committed in that county, it looks like that 14% are the bad seed. Looks can be deceiving. Statistics like these are clearly skewed. They are also deceiving.

 

#history · #living · #loss · #observation · education · theater

Je ne regrette rien

Tamara_Beck_1
Lost in thought?

It is a challenge to live life without remorse. There is always something you should have said, or could have done differently, better to remind you that you are merely mortal.

Nonetheless, I have so few regrets, at least of things I failed to do. One big one is not having had georgraphy classes while attending a school with a world-class program. Taking the opportunity to learn more about urban planning reminds me also of some of my failings in predicting Tony winners. (See my 2014, If/Then expectations, for instance. The play is about an urban planner, so I am not digressing too far afield. It is also about regrets, or paths not taken and choices made.)

The misguided Tony picks, however, are sins of commission that I do not really rue. I enjoy placing my annual bet (as I did this year at The Wright Wreport and for several years before that as well, almost always with less than a perfect score.) I also truly love the theater and the opportunities I get to be in the audience.

Not having had a shot at a career which shapes cities is a genuine lament. The college I attended, Clark University, set a terrific path for those wishing to pursue it. It never occurred to me to do so. I think I associated Geography with something very boring, like reciting the names of capital cities. (The latter is now the name of a pop duo, apparently. Times change.) There is something for which to pay penance and act in contrition.

In four years of sometimes lackadaisical, occassionally rigorous intellectual pursuit, I never set foot in any of the classes this academic discipline offered.  In fact, I doubt that I even set foot in that department’s building. I temper this regret with my memories of a very fine education and a grand gregarious experience. To make up for my own inattention to the Geo. Dept., I always tell the perspective students I interview about Clark’s excellent reputation in Geography. If I steer one of them in the direction of this line of study,  then I will feel absolution for overlooking the chance of a lifetime.

#Facts · #history · America · as apple pie · estrangement · ethics · Famous · history · lies · P.O.V. · point of view · politics · power · Reconstruction · riff · truth · two sides to every story

How was the west won?

1.Camp_Cook's_Troubles_by_Charles_Marion_Russell
By Charles Marion Russell – http://slowtrigger.com/CharlesRussell/A%20Bronc%20to%20Breakfast,%201912,%20Oil%20on%20canvas.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1603824

Reconstruction was the period in American history when the country sought to heal the wounds of a civil war. “Civil” war is such a deceptive phrase, really. Really? It is probably the very definition of an oxymoron.

Our Pledge of Allegiance was one of the products of reconstruction. It was used as a symbol of the nation’s unity.

During that war from 1860 to 1864, the country was divided, fighting under two separate flags, not for liberty or justice, but for the sovereign right of one part of this nation to earn its living by enslaving human beings. Since that project, slavery, slipped away, Americans turned to “taming” the west, which turned out to be a project in which it was necessary to kill off as many Indians as possible. Native American tribes stood in the way of our country’s westward progress. We couldn’t have that, and fighting them off their lands became an all-American enterprise.

The wild west was so called not because of all the nightclubbing and disco parties, but because of the untempered vunityiolence it allowed, even encouraged.