We cannot improve on history by blindly revering any individual, document, or event. We can learn a lot from the Founders, both from what they got right AND from what they got wrong. And we can do better than they did.
Tag Archives | Thomas Jefferson
A pretty compelling read introducing the radical idea that maybe Democracy needs to be reconsidered. Old hat to postmodernism, of course, but maybe it’s time for some mainstream exposure for these notions.
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This is what democracy looks like: grotesque inequality, delusional Tea Party obstructionism, a vast secret national-security state, overseas wars we’re never even told about and a total inability to address the global climate crisis, a failure for which our descendants will never forgive us, and never should. Maybe I’ll take the turtle costumes after all. The aura of democratic legitimacy is fading fast in an era when financial and political capital are increasingly consolidated in a few thousand people, a fact we already knew but whose implications French insta-celebrity Thomas Piketty and the political scientists Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page (of the “oligarchy study”) have forcefully driven home. Libertarian thinker Bryan Caplan sees the same pattern, as Michael Lind recently wrote in Salon, but thinks it’s a good thing.
This week: Ken and Kim cause the entire SittingNow Media podcast production line to grind to a halt because of Grand Theft Auto V, and then talk about it in length, Is gold really space swag?, Kimensional news, Giallo Fever, Drugs and America, more drugs, and ancient presidents go UFO spotting….ah, it’s good to be back!
- Is Gold from Outer Space? – Link
- Jefferson’s UFO sighting Link
- Dimension News – Link
Amer – Link
- Blood on Black Lace – Link
- The Worst Drug Epidemic in US History Link
- Drug Scare Du Jour – Link
Paul Finkelman has published an op-ed at the New York Times on academic history’s failure to come to terms with Thomas Jefferson’s paradoxical support of slavery. It’s worth a read.
Via New York Times:
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We are endlessly fascinated with Jefferson, in part because we seem unable to reconcile the rhetoric of liberty in his writing with the reality of his slave owning and his lifetime support for slavery. Time and again, we play down the latter in favor of the former, or write off the paradox as somehow indicative of his complex depths.
Neither Mr. Meacham, who mostly ignores Jefferson’s slave ownership, nor Mr. Wiencek, who sees him as a sort of fallen angel who comes to slavery only after discovering how profitable it could be, seem willing to confront the ugly truth: the third president was a creepy, brutal hypocrite.
Contrary to Mr.
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Imagine the following scenario: A U.S. president is discovered to be spending his spare time taking a razor to the New Testament, cutting up and re-pasting those passages of the Gospels that he considered authentic and morally true and discarding all the rest.
Gone are the virgin birth, divine healings, exorcisms and the resurrection of the dead, all of which the chief executive dismissed as “superstitions, fanaticisms and fabrications.”
Such an episode occurred, although the revised version of Scripture remained unseen for nearly seven decades after its abridger’s death. Thomas Jefferson intended it that way.
During most of his two terms in the White House, from 1801 to 1809, and for more than a decade afterward, Jefferson – the third U.S.
In the buildup to the 2012 elections, we can anticipate candidates attempting to appropriate inaccurate depictions of the legacies of the Founding Fathers. But when it comes to real history, pound for pound, and in any fight between Jefferson and Washington, I’d put my money on Ben Franklin.
In one recent article posted to disinfo.com, and the attendant readers’ comments particularly grabbed my imagination: “Dancing at the Memorial of a Slave Owner“, an examination of the events following the arrest of five persons for dancing near the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Of course the real importance of the article bears upon the current state of civil rights and free speech in the United States, not on Mr. Jefferson’s personal stance on slavery. The impression the piece left with me was a reinforced sense of America as a declining cultural as well as economic and military power, clinging desperately onto past imagined glories in a viciously ironic way that presents a tragi-comic contrast with the soaring notions of liberty articulated by Jefferson himself.… Read the rest
Saturday, around 50 people held a demonstration through dance at the Jefferson Memorial in southern Washington, D.C., which overlooks the Potomac River. Over 2,000 people had testified on Facebook that they would show up, but these testimonials apparently turned out to be the Internet’s letting off steam.
A week before, U.S. Park Police arrested five protesters for silently dancing in the memorial, which they did in response to the April 12, 2008 arrest of Mary Oberwetter, a 28-year-old D.C. resident, who was eventually charged with “interfering with agency functions.”
The video of recent arrests received in its first 24 hours well over 100,00 views and, at the time of this writing, nearly 900,000. Russia Today journalist and 2010 House Candidate Adam Kokesh, a self-described Ron Paul Republican, found himself thrown to the ground and, briefly, even choked, last weekend for dancing, as he said, in celebration of the principles of Thomas Jefferson.… Read the rest
The dancers were protesting an appeals court ruling handed down last week that the national monuments are places for reflection and contemplation — and that dancing distracted from such an experience. In 2008, Mary Brooke Oberwetter and a group of friends went to the Jefferson to commemorate the president's 265th birthday by dancing silently, while listening to music on headphones. Park Police ordered the revelers to disperse and arrested them when they did not. Oberwetter sued on free speech grounds, but the appeals court ruled last week that her conduct was indeed prohibited "because it stands out as a type of performance, creating its own center of attention and distracting from the atmosphere of solemn commemoration" that Park Service regulations are designed to preserve. Saturday's protest was staged during the day, on Memorial Day weekend, in order to draw maximum attention:
"Adams is a hideous hermaphroditical character with neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman."
"Jefferson is the son of a half-breed Indian squaw raised on hoe-cakes."
There can be only ONE!