Monday, August 1, 2016


   This is a new top to a post that drew much interest. It has been revised. We gathered these images on a visit with dear friends. It was a tonic.
   Now this focus is brought to our current political rumble, which includes a fight with the media. We'll revisit that below. 
   Frequent readers remember I'm a First Amendment fanatic. I'm the kind of goof who reads the Declaration of Independence each Fourth of July, and who is adamant about protecting our liberties and who holds dear the extraordinary set of bones upon which this republic hangs-the Constitution.
  All of us are entitled the full extension of  rights, privileges and responsibilities laid out for us by the founders, protected by sacrifices through generations and increased by our perpetually growing enlightenment. 
   So Washington DC is the touchstone, in so many ways.

   Ingrained in the raison d'ĂȘtre of these monuments and memorials are intellects, sacrifices, leadership, vision and a devotion to an ideal-a nation where all live in equality. 
   Personalities who have risen to lead are honored, beyond their days, as a challenge to us in our time.  These stone reminders are a tonic. We are humbled and inspired by what we see and remember.

Memorial to journalists killed in the line of duty.
Newseum, Washington DC
     Service personnel and journalists have given much, including their all so that we may know and live free. They inspire me.
   Politicians who rise above petty politics to move the arc of history as statesmen inspire me.
    Temples that celebrate the best of our creative dreams,  reaching and artistic output, inspire and offer a healing balm.
    And so our divided and dysfunctional Congress, beleaguered Presidency and questionable Supreme Court do not detract from the wide and long sweep of the true greatness that can and has emerged in and from this Capitol of human longings and achievement. It is not perfect.  None of the heroes who are memorialized were perfect. Like all of us, they had feet of clay and were made of the same star matter. 
   We have eras of which to be proud and periods of shame and embarrassment but it is always on a human scale, moving toward an ideal, an inch, a day, a moment at a time.
    So I take from all of it an inspiration and renewed zeal to stay stalwart in my belief that all of us, regardless of birthright, are children under the same heaven, brothers and sisters of planet earth. I may not like you, I may not agree with you, but neither that, nor how and who you were born should stand between you and full equality, even in a church.
    Your color, your gender, your ethnic heritage, your sexual orientation, your physical or mental challenges simply make you a human being, entitled to the full privileges of life.
    I thank the good Lord for a vision that it is so, and for a nation where we get better at making it so and for a place where we build monuments and temples to remind us to make sure it is always so and to recall those who have said so.
    Afterthoughts in this political season. Reporters and other journalists have been barred by the Trump campaign. That is stupid and it is wrong. It is also critical to note.
   If there is anything our generation should take from the history of 1933 forward is the rise of Hitler, his coopting of workers and his use of power. We witness warning signs and similar behavior. Trying to manipulate the press is troubling.
    Recourse? Some have suggested a fight back-refuse to cover his candidacy. If one outlet is barred, no coverage from everyone else. That may "vent," but it's not right nor effective.
My friend Frank, who hosted our Washington visit observes it keenly.
      "The media is always stuck between principles (protesting this kind of treatment) and responsibility (continuing to report on craziness.)
     This election offers American voters an opportunity to do a reality check and to think in view of US history and all that implies.
    See you down the trail.


  1. I always benefit from your astute opinions, and I loved seeing all the Washington D.C. photographs. One thing: Am I the only liberal who doesn't like the MLK Memorial? I really don't like the statue's posture or facial expression. I wish an America sculptor had created it instead of a Chinese sculptor, but that's another issue.

  2. It is a powerful memorial in total, though the dominant statue does not seem in sync with what I thought of King's charisma, power and gentleness.

  3. I am not sure Thomas Jefferson could have captured what this country means to people and how Washington's monuments symbolize that than you did here. Your photos draw a sharp contrast between past greatness and current pettiness. I am always encouraged to see long lines of visitors waiting to get a glimpse of our founding documents at the National Archives.

  4. Wish it were possible for all Americans to visit and see. Once it was a regular High School trip but that has fallen off in part due to expense. Maybe the Koch brothers and George Soros could endow a foundation that makes it possible for all students to visit.

  5. next time in DC we'll meet U at Athena Pallas in Crystal City.

    Mike & Liza