Category: Politics

When Lincoln Spoke

Lincoln-1860-Preston-Butler
Presidential Candidate Abraham Lincoln, August 1860, Springfield, IL

“I leave it to my audience. If I had another face, do you think I’d wear this one?” ~~ Abraham Lincoln, after being called ‘two-faced’ in a debate

It’s common knowledge Abraham Lincoln was not a handsome man, nor was he esteemed on first notice as graceful or socially adept. Described as homely, uncouth, rough-looking, a tall 6′ 4″ angular, awkward man in clothing that didn’t seem to fit, Lincoln was even said by some to be ugly. His remarkable face, height and flat-footed, springless walk never failed to make a powerful impression. As a London Times correspondent wrote: “It would not be possible for the most indifferent observer to pass him in the street without notice.”

But Lincoln, a dirt-farmers son was ambitious and determined to succeed. From the time he was a boy he was self-educated, an avid reader of any book or newspaper he could find. His stepmother remembered he was unusual, he had to understand everything, repeated facts to himself until they were “fixed in his mind.” With little formal education he left home at age 22. “I was a friendless, uneducated, penniless boy… a piece of floating driftwood.” (more…)

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American Exceptionalism: Is This a Great Country or What?

Objects of the most stupendous magnitude, and measure in which the lives and liberties of millions yet unborn are intimately interested, are now before us. We are in the very midst of a revolution the most complete, unexpected and remarkable of any in the history of nations. ~~ John Adams letter to William Cushing, June 9, 1776

I try to avoid writing about the political but from time to time it happens. Like most people I want to be liked. I want my words to bring smiles and pleasure. I want my stories bookmarked, remembered and my opinions respected. But I make no apologies about my occasional writings of the political kind. I just can’t help myself. Bad enough to hear it from outsiders but I get irked from time to time when I hear our own citizens tearing down our country. A lot has been said and written about American Exceptionalism, so time for me to write a little about it from my perspective, as well as an historical one. (more…)

Politicians – The Critic Doesn’t Count

I have no ambition to govern men.  It is a painful and thankless office. ~~ Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, December 28, 1796

Being a politician is tough.  No doubt about it.  It’s a thankless job steeped in cynicism, distrust, even vile hatred and personal attacks from the very people they’re trying to represent.  I have little regard for cynics, never have, never will!

The politician’s job requires them to be ever visible, and accountable to not only a belligerent and fickle constituency, but to a hostile and often biased press.  That makes a politician a very easy target.  I can’t imagine being one.  It’s far too high a price to pay to be under such constant scrutiny, on an unlevel playing field and unable to please everyone.  The majority of us would never allow such close inspection.  Frankly, most of us couldn’t stand the heat.  Better it is to complain, point the finger.  Nevertheless the question should be asked;  If not us, then who? (more…)

What Would the Fathers Say?

Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only Law Book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited….What a paradise would this region be!
~~ John Adams, 1756 ~~

The Founding FathersWe call it “modern times.”  We’re up-to-date, we’re high tech.  At the cutting edge, the leading edge, smarter and brighter than ever before.  We’re enlightened!  We have the Internet, and much of the world’s knowledge right here at our fingertips. In so many ways, we are a truly blessed nation.

Some say they don’t care what the older generation thinks.  After all, what do they know?  Others quote the Founding Fathers to validate a point, usually political, while at the same time ignoring the Supreme Being, the great Creator and Preserver of the universe those same founders wrote and spoke so much about. (more…)

Ethics in Journalism is Dead!

There is nothing to fear except the persistent refusal to find out the truth. ~~ Dorothy Thompson

Ethics in Journalism is dead my friend. You hadn’t heard?  Tragically and sadly it’s so.  There was no announcement, no obituary, no funeral, no day of mourning, no closure.  It just happened.  Ethics you see is gone, you can be sure of that.

The Fourth Estate once stood for something.  It used to be an honored profession, a free-agent, independent of outside influence.  At one time a watchdog and guardian over governments and politicians gone astray. It’s now just the opposite.  That once great institution stands now as a facilitator, a protector, an enabler.  Journalism’s hatchet men have become manipulators and endorsers of the worse that government, and the governed, has to offer.  All at the cost of ethics.  What was once revered should now be feared.  Journalists have become no less than secondary parties to a crime.  You and I, our posterity, and our country have become — many of us — its unwitting victims. (more…)