Saturday, 09/22/2018

Deserve's got nothin' to do with it.

'Course, you know, Will, if Claudia was alive you wouldn't be doin' this...


September 22, 10:59 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Beloved Of His Home

We Were Not Likened To Dogs:

We were not led like sheep to the slaughter in the boxcars
For like leprous sheep they led us to extinction
Over all the beautiful landscapes of Europe. . . .
The Gentiles did not handle their sheep as they handled our
Before slaughter they did not pull out the teeth of their sheep:
They did not pluck the wool fi-om their bodies as they did to us:
They did not push the sheep into the fire to make ashes of the
And to scatter the ashes over rivers and sewers.

Are there other parables like this, our catastrophe, that came to us
   from their hands?
There are no other parables (all words are shades of shadow)—
And therein is the horror-striking expression: There are no other

Uri Zvi Greenberg.


September 22, 9:18 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

To establish Post Offices and Post Roads

[The Post Office] is perhaps the only mercantile project which has been successfully managed by, I believe, every sort of government. 

 - Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations (Book V, Ch 2)

Obviously, Smith never met Congressman Issa...

Anyhoo, the Post Office has been around since before we had even declared independence--with Ben Franklin made the first Postmaster General--showing just how important communication in general and the postal service in particular is.  The Articles Congress passed An Ordinance for Regulating the Post-Office of the United States of America in 1782.  

Once the US Congress ramped up under our Constitution in 1789, the House wanted to continue the existing regime: 

[U]ntil further provision be made by law, the General Post Office of the United States shall be conducted according to the rules and regulations prescribed: by the ordinances and resolutions of the late Congress, and that contracts be made for the conveyance of the mail in conformity thereto...

But the Senate had other ideas, and on September 11:

Mr. Butler, in behalf of the committee appointed on the tenth of September, on the resolve of the House of Representatives, providing for the regulation of the post of flee, reported, not to concur in the resolve, and a bill upon the subject matter thereof;

And, on the question of concurrence in the resolve of the House of Representatives:

It passed in the negative.

Ordered, That the bill, entitled "An act for the temporary establishment of the post office," have the first reading at this time.

It's not apparent from the record how much, if any, debate there was on the bill.  It zipped through the Senate, and was passed even more rapidly by the House.  The act was extremely brief and its operation was limited through the next session, though it had to be renewed the following August, and again in March after that (when service was also extended to Bennington in the new state of Vermont!).

Regardless, today marks when the United States of America, in order to form a more perfect union, borrowed yet again from the Articles Congress and (re)created the position of Postmaster General.  Congrats to Samuel Osgood, to whom the honor was bestowed a few days later...


September 22, 8:26 PM in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, 09/20/2018

To conquer every mountain shown

But I've never crossed the river...


September 20, 9:23 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

horror vacui

A Sister on the Tracks:

                                                   Today Rebecca walks
a line that vanishes, in solitude
bypassed by wars and commerce. She remembers the story
of the bunting’d day her great-great-great-
grandmother watched the first train roll and smoke
from Potter Place to Gale
with fireworks, cider, and speeches. Then the long rail
drove west, buzzing and humming; the hive of rolling stock
extended a thousand-car’d perspective
from Ohio to Oregon, where men who left stone farms
rode rails toward gold.

Donald Hall.


September 20, 7:51 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

At Least It's An Ethos

Leadership in government is political power, and political power is an official form of antagonizing the people!


September 20, 12:05 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, 09/19/2018

Long time a child...

...and still a child, when years:

Had painted manhood on my cheek, was I,— 
For yet I lived like one not born to die; 
A thriftless prodigal of smiles and tears, 
No hope I needed, and I knew no fears. 
But sleep, though sweet, is only sleep, and waking, 
I waked to sleep no more, at once o’ertaking 
The vanguard of my age, with all arrears 
Of duty on my back. Nor child, nor man, 
Nor youth, nor sage, I find my head is grey, 
For I have lost the race I never ran: 
A rathe December blights my lagging May; 
And still I am a child, tho’ I be old, 
Time is my debtor for my years untold.

Hartley Coleridge.


September 19, 11:19 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

uva uvam vivendo varia fit

Apropos of our starting to watch Yellowstone, which is like a super sequel to Lonesome Dove, I found Loomis' post on memorials to American genocide to provide a little hope for the future.


September 19, 9:38 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Interwoven as is the love of liberty with every ligament of your hearts...

Good presidents can't fit their good thoughts in 280 characters:

The unity of government which constitutes you one people is also now dear to you. It is justly so, for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence, the support of your tranquillity at home, your peace abroad, of your safety, of your prosperity, of that very liberty which you so highly prize.

But as it is easy to foresee that from different causes and from different quarters much pains will be taken, many artifices employed, to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth, as this is the point in your political fortress against which the batteries of internal and external enemies will be most constantly and actively (though often covertly and insidiously) directed, it is of infinite moment that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national union to your collective and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as of the palladium of your political safety and prosperity; watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion that it can in any event be abandoned, and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts.

Washington's Farewell Address, September 19, 1796.


September 19, 8:55 PM in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 09/18/2018


As he strolled along he sang a song of the land of milk and honey...


September 18, 9:51 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Death broke at once the vital chain, And freed his soul the nearest way.

On the Death of Dr. Robert Levet:

Condemned to Hope’s delusive mine, 
    As on we toil from day to day, 
By sudden blasts, or slow decline, 
    Our social comforts drop away. 

Samuel Johnson.


September 18, 8:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, 09/17/2018

there's rain enough for everyone

You'll hear us laugh once again...


September 17, 11:17 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

changing ships the dead among the wreckage sickly green

It Is a Living Coral:

a trouble
archaically fettered
to produce
E Pluribus Unum an
in the sea a Capitol
by Armed Liberty—
sculpture straddled by
a dome
eight million pounds
in weight
iron plates constructed
to expand
and contract with
of temperature
the folding
and unfolding of a lily.
And Congress
authorized and the
was entrusted was

William Carlos Williams.


September 17, 11:05 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Don't Cry, America

Today is notable, and not just because Ericka and I were supposed to get publicly married on a beach before a rainstorm postponed things for 24 hours way back in '16:

On the question to agree to the Constitution enrolled in order to be signed. It was agreed to all the States answering ay.
The members then proceeded to sign the instrument.

Whilst the last members were signing it Doctr. FRANKLIN looking towards the Presidents Chair, at the back of which a rising sun happened to be painted, observed to a few members near him, that Painters had found it difficult to distinguish in their art a rising from a setting sun. I have said he, often and often in the course of the Session, and the vicisitudes of my hopes and fears as to its issue, looked at that behind the President without being able to tell whether it was rising or setting: But now at length I have the happiness to know that it is a rising and not a setting Sun.

The Constitution being signed by all the members except Mr. Randolph, Mr. Mason, and Mr. Gerry who declined giving it the sanction of their names, the Convention dissolved itself by an Adjournment sine die-

But of course, we still operated under the Articles of Confederation (America, not me and Ericka).  So to extend the metaphor, would ratification be when the Republic began to show (or in today's parlance, the sonogram was posted on Facebook)?  And the actual birthday be when Congress first met under the new framework?

Regardless, Happy Constitution Day.  May it be whatever it it aspired to be someday...


September 17, 10:22 PM in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0)