Oct 172013

Ending this series of postings where it began…

The Lincoln Memorial -- looking at Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address (Click image to enlarge)

The Lincoln Memorial — looking at Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address.  (Click image to enlarge)

The highwaymen — who tried to hold a gun to the Nation’s head — failed, at least for now.  We’ll know in a couple of months whether those who see America primarily through their own tunnel vision, and who listen only to their most rabid followers, have learned anything since they dreamed up this shutdown “strategy” those months ago.

But for the benefit of those who care more about the Nation as a whole, I extract a short quote from Lincoln’s address, carved into the wall before you:  “With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in…”

(Posted from London, UK)

Oct 112013
In Redwood National Park.

In Redwood National Park.


Lady Bird Johnson Grove, Redwood National Park

Redwood National Park — Closed.  You didn’t get to walk here today.  Fortunately, there is still access to Jedediah Smith Redwoods, Del Norte Coast Redwoods and Prairie Creek Redwoods state parks, which adjoin RNP.

(These are smaller pictures, originally shot with a Minox subminiature camera._

Oct 102013
Southern Railway Locomotive 1401 -- Smithsonian Museum of American History (Click image to enlarge)

Southern Railway Locomotive 1401 — Smithsonian Museum of American History (click image to enlarge)

You couldn’t contemplate #1401 — One of the eight locomotives that, in doubleheader pairs, brought FDR’s body from Warm Springs, Georgia to Washington, DC.

What would FDR have thought of a shutdown of most of the federal government engineered for the political benefit of about 30 house members of one party?

Oct 072013
The Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum

The Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum
 (Click image to enlarge)

You didn’t get to see messages being pushed out in the Hirshhorn’s entrance lobby.

Meanwhile the battle of messages continues unabated in Washington, DC.  This past weekend more stories on how this shutdown was part of a plan hatched months ago by a small number of one political party.

Oct 042013
World War II Memorial at Sunset

World War II Memorial at Sunset  (Click image to enlarge)

…But it is interesting how some in Congress turned this into a photo op on Tuesday.  The very politicians who have been contemplating this shutdown for months managed to show up at the WWII Memorial just as a group of WWII veterans did.  These politicians made a big deal about how the veterans were being denied access to the memorial — a situation these same politicians had engineered. An incredibly disrespectful exploitation of the veterans my father served with.

Oct 012013
The Lincoln Memorial on a Better Day

The Lincoln Memorial on a Better Day  (Click image to enlarge)

So instead, we can consider the following excerpts from Lincoln’s speech to the Copper Union, February 27, 1860:

Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events. This, plainly stated, is your language…

In that supposed event, you say, you will destroy the Union; and then, you say, the great crime of having destroyed it will be upon us!  That is cool*.  A highwayman holds a pistol to my ear, and mutters through his teeth, “Stand and deliver, or I shall kill you, and then you will be a murderer!”

Rule or ruin.  The highwaymen are among us today.

James Fallows on the shutdown here and here.

[* The 1852 edition of Noah Webster’s dictionary has it: “3. Not hasty; deliberate; as, a cool falsehood or deception. Hence, 4. Impudent in a high degree, as when speaking of some trick, pretension, &c., we say ‘that is cool.’ “]

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