Thomas Paine publishes “The American Crisis”

On this day in 1776, Thomas Paine’s immortal words inspired the revolutionary army…

‘These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.

Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.

What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated: Thomas Paine publishes “The American Crisis”

While I no longer believe in ‘american exceptionalism’ there is no doubt this is an exceptional example of words that inspired men to great deeds. You can read the entire pamphlet at no cost here (and I believe every American should read this at least once in their lifetime):

Why Ruth Bader Ginsburg Refused to Step Down

If you don’t know her story, start here…

An Incredibly Well-Preserved Piece of 9th-Century Viking Poop

The Atlas Obscura is one of my new favorite websites and posts like this are why:

“One paleoscatologist called the Lloyds Bank coprolite “as precious as the Crown Jewels”: An Incredibly Well-Preserved Piece of 9th-Century Viking Poop

Ancient Viking poo

btw, do you know what a paleoscatologist actually is? It’s one of the top 10 unique jobs according to this website. It’s a person who checks out ancient poop.

John Lewis nearly died on the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Now it may be renamed for him.

On ‘Bloody Sunday’ in 1965, Lewis was beaten by Alabama state troopers. On Sunday, the civil rights giant and congressman, who died July 17, was carried across the bridge one last time amid a campaign to rename the historic landmark in his honor: John Lewis nearly died on the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Now it may be renamed for him.

Watch “New Pentagon policy effectively bans Confederate symbols at military sites” on YouTube

6 John Lewis speeches key to understanding his work and legacy

The late congressman’s words chronicle his long and enduring fight for racial equality in America: 6 John Lewis speeches key to understanding his work and legacy

Half of Oklahoma Is “Indian Country.” What If All Native Treaties Were Upheld?

From the Grand Canyon to Mount Rushmore, if the routinely flouted U.S. treaties with Indigenous people were honored, this would be a very different country: Half of Oklahoma Is “Indian Country.” What If All Native Treaties Were Upheld?

The Long History of How Jesus Came to Resemble a White European

The historical Jesus likely had the brown eyes and skin of other first-century Jews from Galilee, a region in biblical Israel: The Long History of How Jesus Came to Resemble a White European

John Lewis Risked His Life for Justice

His willingness to do so was essential to the quest for civil rights.

The Massacre That Destroyed Tulsa’s ‘Black Wall Street’

In 1921, the city of Tulsa erupted in a spasm of hate and fire that destroyed its prosperous Black district. A century later, excavators are uncovering a “crime scene.”

Removal of Confederate symbols is personal (and mandatory!)

If you don’t understand why it’s critical that these confederate monuments be removed then you just don’t understand enough about why they are there in the first place! Perhaps this short video from the PBS Newshour will help you understand the way it did for me:

You see, most of these statues were erected by the United Daughters of the Confederacy to support the glorious ‘Lost Cause’ and promoted racism. They weren’t erected after the war — most were erected from 1890 to 1920 as a strong antithetical racist backlash to the early success of African Americans during the reconstruction under President Grant (the first civil rights president).

I hope that if you take a moment to learn why these statues are so offensive, then you too will want them removed!

Recommended reading: As a Black woman from the South, removal of Confederate symbols is personal – CNNPolitics

Review: Essential History in ‘Reconstruction’ on PBS

Watch “Frederick Douglass’ 1852 speech on liberty” on YouTube

Let’s Finish the American Revolution

I recommend this op-ed piece in the New York Times.

Frederick Douglass’ Descendants Read His Famous ‘Fourth Of July’ Speech

Descendants of Frederick Douglass read excerpts from one of his most famous speeches: What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July? Douglass gave this speech to a group of abolitionists 168 years ago: Frederick Douglass’ Descendants Read His Famous ‘Fourth Of July’ Speech


America After The Civil War: Reconstruction

I have never been interested in the Civil War — seemed to just be a big fustercluck to me. Now, the thought occurs to me that you cannot understand our current situation until you understand that the Civil War actually accomplished very little and that much of the work of the Civil War and for that matter, the Declaration of Independence, is STILL undone.

From this day forward, the 4th of July will be a day of mourning and reflection to me until that day when we begin to realize this basic tenet of the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

The Declaration of Independence, July 2, 1776

Let the work begin…

The short version

Perhaps when we begin to understand our history on a deeper level we can realize that the America we have celebrated is a fantasy — it never existed!

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath—
America will be!

America, Langston Hughes

Interested in this topic? Here’s some recommended reading.

Opinion | If We Are Not Just Animals, What Are We?

The Luddites

In the early hours of the morning on December 21 something magical happens in an Irish field, the rising sun aligns perfectly with an ancient passage tomb, travels down the long corridor and illuminates the inner chamber. Go to the source to read the backstory: 5,000yo Irish tomb’s winter solstice magic to be livestreamed (VIDEO) — RT World News

Watch here:

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