"America did not invent human rights....human rights invented America."
- President James Earl Carter (January 1981 in farewell address)
Seven score and ten years ago today (150years), President Abraham Lincoln gave maybe his most famous, and shortest, speech: The Gettysburg Address.
At their reburial it commemorated the meaning of the war dead from the Civil War of America.
One writer called it "So short, it is only a couple Tweets." So was wondering what the Gettysburg Address would it look like as a Tweet...
The Gettysburg Address
"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."
"Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this."
"But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
"The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
-- President Abraham Lincoln on Nov. 19, 1863
November 6, 1860.
Today is the 153rd anniversary of the election of Abraham Lincoln to the Presidency of the United States of America; our 16th.
Some people today make him, and others, and history, a matter of black and white.
The truth of course is a lot more colorful and diverse than that.
[With kudos to the multi-talented M.A. Ludwig.]
"Why not unite...?
Americans who want amnesty from the law for undocumented persons...
Americans who want the freedom to remain medically undocumented (uninsured)...
AMNESTY FOR ALL from STATE HEALTH INSURANCE MANDATES!"
In Washington today it is like a game of: red light, yellow light, green light.
Only it isn't a game. It's a tale of fiscal inebriation.
One group wants a (R)ed Light on spending, but only for present and future spending -- it will not cut the largesse of commandeered commitments pre-committed into the future; perhaps knowing that they can skate today even if it can only end in tears.
Another group wants a Yellow Light on spen(D)ing: let us bring "responsible reform" to our present system of "entitlements" by slowing the growth in commandeered commitments of your money into the future.
Still a third group seeks the Green L(I)ght of continued spending across the board, even putting the pedal to the medal.
Just ask Senator B.S.
Is it any surprise that the result is (R)ecession, (D)epression, and more fiscal (I)nebriation...not with their money but with yours and your grandchildrens'?
No future spending won't do it.
Slower future spending won't do it.
Growing future spending won't do it.
When the guy at the end of the bar has had too many, a smart barman cuts him off. No present or future spending. But a wise barman not only cuts him off, but gives him a cup of coffee and something to eat and time to sober up and maybe a trip home...time and opportunity to let the worm leave his system.
Especially when the jerk is crowding the otherwise people of temperance in the pub seeking to go about their own business.
And if the guy shakes a little bit, or angrily demands that he be re-served, so be it. The wise barman won't budge.
Time has come to restaff, to take away the keys, and cut off the drunk.
Just how did some of us slip away into the notion that as the government goes so goes the whole nation?
Don’t We The People precede, define, and operate government in the first place? And isn’t there more to America even than a government or even who runs it?
Isn't it more true to say that as the foundation goes, so goes the nation?
This is especially so in great America, whose foundation is freedom. And freedom is today by principles of supply-and-demand -- a growth industry. America remains great and free because it and its people are still great and free; and ever will be.
Surely there is a sickening abundance of dysfunction, amateuristry, and confused action present in government today, particularly in the federal half of our government. Those who get it but can't lead are being led by those who don't get it and can only mislead. And the balance of the tripartite branches a separation of co-equal powers seems upset. This clumsy attempt at renovation of our systems; many in contrast with the dictates of the Constitution, and sheer good sense -- and reality – yet makes a many shake their head and conclude that "America" is "being lost."
Because. You. Did. Not. Build. That.
Yes the mistakes by those we put in charge for now will impact some, and negatively. Yes a certain pettiness of public controls will touch upon the affairs of some free men. Yes those who know little of economy (or of its parts) occludedly trying to "fix" an economy and “make jobs” (like a fish fixes its tropical tank, or a monkey makes bananas) will make life costlier and more involved from an operational perspective - a human penance made of electoral haste.
But what even has this to say about the enduring trueness and the ongoing reality of America? America never was its government. And it is not today.
For what does a drunken pilot say of the Boeing plane he pilots...?
...or the computer operator of the network or the mainframe...?
...or the wagon wheel of the greatness and vastness of the frontier ahead...?
America > Government.
America is not governance, nor geography, or even the people in it today, but rather America is mankind’s idea and ideal. America exists, in history it persists, of value it insists. At the end of the day one is either building or destroying. And mankind’s building, the brand of America, always has victory over destruction.
Because freedom is ever free and ever new, invention ever inventive, and Man is ever destined to constructively go beyond his parameters. And no one can ever make these things not so in a nation and place conceived in Liberty.
A free mankind. The steel understructure to our ever Open Source America; an idea and ideal, a nimble global and temporal place of achievement, land of free people (and not of offices). Freedom itself even is not the servant of America. America is the servant of freedom. Freedom = America.
…Beyond outside after and above unjust constraint, beyond some malevolent complaint, or any ill-aimed restraint. At the end of the day the unchanging infrastructure of an Open Source America, of mankind free, remains, and long may she wave o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
It never was just a nation in the first place.
And always remember... The First Government.
#11,069: Arline travel.
A lesson in map-reading.
The following infographic by Amadeus depicts the relative change in airline travel worldwide by country and region. It notes the grown in certain Asian and South American travel worldwide in terms of annual flights in-and-out, and specifically in regions of popular BRIC countries [Brazil, Russia, India, and China].
Page 3 at http://www.dot.gov/sites/dot.dev/file/docs/US%20International%20Air%20Passenger%20and%20Freight%20Statistics%20Report%20for%20March%202013.pdf
Recently experimental psychologists at the University of Glasgow photographed women from 41 different nationalities and ethnicities for an experiment to generate computerized images of the "typical look" of a person from a particular country.
This 'composite portraiture' is a technique first used in the 1880s by a Sir Francis Galton. Galton was, by the way, a cousin to evolutionary theorist Charles Darwin.
At first it was a disappointment that, among the images produced, there was not one for the typical average "American" (even as there was one for "African American.")
Until I remembered....wait....these; all, as well as each, ARE the composite image of the "typical look" of an American. They are all and each the typical American.
What a special thing that is.
Behold the "Typical American" - a unity in diversity!
Read more about the study by the Scottish scientists: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2435688/The-average-woman-revealed-Study-blends-thousands-faces-women-look-like-different-countries-world.html#ixzz2g8V5rBhx
Did you know that today is "Citizenship Day" in America?
On the date which historically was "Constitution Day;" a day on which America remembered the gift and its fidelity to the Constitution, President Harry S. Truman declared the same, from henceforward, in order to link the rights and responsibilities of citizenship with it, to be "Citizenship Day."
CITIZENSHIP DAY, 1952
WHEREAS by a joint resolution approved February 29, 1952 (Public law 261, 82d Congress), the Congress of the United States has designated the 17th day of September of each year as Citizenship Day in commemoration of the formation and signing on September 17, 1787, of the Constitution of the United States and in recognition of all who, by coming of age or by naturalization, have attained the full status of citizenship; and
Have to admit...he was right. A. Seer.
[This is from 2010.]
September 6, 2013 Washington, DC - Today the BLS (US Bureau of Labor Statistics) released the following statistics:
A) As of the end of August, 90,473,000 Americans are NOT in the workforce.
B) The number of workers not working is UP over one-half million people from just last month.
C) "Not in the labor force" means being over 16, unemployed, and not seeking work during the past 4 weeks.
View the stats and more information here: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t01.htm
Why this really matters. . .
1. Those who are still not working, but who have merely been seeking work in the past four weeks are considered to be "in the labor force," according to the BLS definition. So the true number of "not in the labor force" is far higher than 90.5 million.
2. But what sort of work do 16, 17 year old minors do? (These minors are considered a part of the overall "labor force" and perform almost 5 million jobs.) So the quality (and adult-life supportive vitality) of jobs "in the labor force" is likely assumed by most of us to be higher than in reality, as the stat would include, for instance, part-time work at a shoe store or temp agency.
3. Those who are self-employed, a substantial segment of American economic life, ARE considered "in the labor force" irrespective of business income -- even if their business(es) is struggling or even failing (they may have one client providing 20% of their needed monthly overhead, for instance). So the economic vitality of those who are "in the labor force" is likely assumed to be higher than actual.
4. According to the 2010 US Census, total population of those 16years or older America was 243.275 million. Roughly two years later this would approximate the working adults now 18 and over. Further the population 62 and older, those likely out or leaving the workforce today, was just under 50 million. [2010 Official Census records: http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-03.pdf]
With a over-18 working population in America of less than 200 million, and with "in the labor force" including those just looking for work, more than one-half of America is not working today and of those who are many are not earning adult or otherwise sufficient incomes.
More than one-half of America is not at work.
EmailPrint PDF In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, we heard a great deal about "why they hate us" and why America is so bad. In the meantime, we've endured lengthy lectures from multicultural activists about America's history of slavery. Leftists continue to fulminate about American foreign policy, which they blame for most of the evils in the world. Cultural pessimists, some of them conservative, deplore the materialism of American life and the excesses and degradation of American culture. Clearly, anti-Americanism doesn't just find support in cafes in Cairo, Tehran, and Paris; it is also a home-grown phenomenon. In the view of America's critics, both domestic and foreign, America can do no right.
This indictment has the effect of undermining the patriotism of Americans at a time when America's challenges in the world require the enduring patriotic attachment of its citizens. America's critics are aiming their assault on America's greatest weakness, which is not military vulnerability but a lack of moral self-confidence. Americans cannot effectively fight for their country without believing that their country is good and that they are fighting in a just cause. With Edmund Burke, Americans tend to believe that "to make us love our country, our country ought to be lovely."
Is America worthy of a reflective patriotism that doesn't mindlessly assert, "My country, right or wrong," but rather examines the criticisms of America and finds them wanting? As an immigrant who has chosen to become an American citizen, I believe that it is. Having studied the criticisms of America with care, my conclusion is that the critics have a narrow and distorted understanding of America. They exaggerate American faults, and they ignore what is good and even great about America.
Musings of a Foam Finger.
An Essay of Absurdities Amounting to Meaning, Hopefully.
‘America, whither shall I go?’ For I no longer have home or patron or meaning…
I Foam Finger, artifact of sport history and American popular society, but still emblem of victory or merit, quality – no -- not quality but exceptionalism = the best. Number One.
Some preeningly craven “celebrity” used me, nay abused me and herself and all viewers in the process; and even more. Maybe you heard. In selecting I Foam Finger as a “simulated” “sex” “aid” she besmirched me, myself, Foam Finger; but did so much more bad in the process ad to the concept for which I stand: exceptionalism itself.
I, Number-oneage, take umbrage!
As I write this essay to you I notice that even in my Microsoft Word program the term “exceptionalism” immediately elicits the automated red-underline of the electronic wisdom of the “spell” “check.” [If you don’t believe even me, Foam Finger, just try it for yourself in Word.] So low has my raison d’etre fallen in the mind of man in popular thinking that in this the best country in the world, even here, and inside the most successful software in the world, that a spellcheckcommisariature should provide my extinction and in my place the following wisdom: “No spelling suggestions.”
Can’t I at least buy a vowel?
This, from Microsoft - the embodiment of exceptionalism in the field of software proliferation and success. Not in the (e)book?!
I had to re-think it myself, ‘Did I spell that right?’ ‘Is that really a word?’ Exterminated exceptionalism always results in the fruit of doubt. Doubt today.
But what if Spellczecher is removing other unpopular thoughts if this one is gone? And what about the larger electronic “world.”
So then stirring up my courage I went over to “software” b-brand Google. Typing in “exceptionalism” into the search and there I was image #1 for “exceptionalism” – I Foam Finger. So then in dash to double gut check into “Images” “foam finger”…darn is “she” wasn’t there again abusing me!
For I Foam Finger this really stings. Because now when people think of me they will only think of “her;” or of my meaning of “that” she did. And maybe they will begin to think the same about real exceptionalism.
Polemical? Perhaps. But wouldn’t you be?!
Please help us Lord if gone are the days where I Foam Finger; longstanding legate of leadership of exceptionalism of which America is Exhibit 1 (if you will) in the world, is itself bemocked or edited out through spellczech or linked with so many embarrassing travesties.
God save the queen of human success – and me mom and her home in America -- exceptionalism!
Oh wait a minute, it can’t really go away. Even if few people know it, it is still there. Isn’t that “exceptional?” As for me who knows?
Somebody is reading my mind. But only partially.
"Was?" Why so glum?
Because the answer to the question posed is, based on many common premises, and reality, "Yes, America is STILL exceptional."
This is because you see America is so much more than just a country or geography...it is an idea and an ideal. It exists yet today in the hearts and minds of many and it ever will.
Nevertheless "American Exceptionalism," the new short-form book by by Charles Murray is highly recommended.
For more ancient reading on these and other related thoughts check out "What is an Open Source America."
"It is much less a geography,
much less a country, than it is both an idea and an ideal.
Even if batted down to embers, each ember
is an America.
Even if each ember be stomped on, each footprint
is an America.
Even if each footprint is wiped away, each memory
is an America.
American existence is ontological,
its reality metaphysical.
America is indivisible, indissoluable,