While in the process of completing a post on quite a different topic, I happened across this photo, taken after the recent “closing” of the Lincoln Memorial. I found the photograph distressing and inexplicably haunting. Surely I hadn’t written about these events – or had I?
I awoke this morning remembering a post from my earliest days of blogging. Written in 2008, it seems equally relevant today, though not in any way I could have imagined at the time. I’m reposting it here with only an edit or two for clarity and the addition of these two quotations from an 1859 letter from Abraham Lincoln to Henry Pierce. The first is both relevant and amusing.
I remember once being much amused at seeing two partially intoxicated men engage in a fight with their great-coats on, which fight, after a long, and rather harmless contest, ended in each having fought himself out of his own coat, and into that of the other. If the two leading parties of this day are really identical with the two in the days of Jefferson and Adams, they have perfomed the same feat as the two drunken men.
The second is merely relevant.
Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves.
(Re-posted from June, 2008) In recent weeks, Cuban policies limiting citizens’ access to certain goods and services have been liberalized. Farmers no longer are required to purchase materials from state-run stores, and it’s now possible for more individuals to rent cars.
Restrictions on personal cell phone ownership have been eased, and bans lifted on the purchase of electronic or electrical consumer items of all sorts, including computers, televisions, pressure cookers, rice cookers, electric bicycles, microwave ovens and car alarms.
Raul Castro’s reforms have been scrutinized closely for practical as well as political significance. While apparently desirable, they are filled with a certain irony. In a nation where most individuals are not allowed to purchase a car, car alarms seem somewhat beside the point. The scarcity of many basic food items and the prohibitive cost of others make the possibility of possessing an electric rice cooker or microwave seem just slightly amusing. (more…)