Yearly Archives: 2018

Another way of thinking

Einstein_blackboardThe nation is suffering in soul and spirit from the colliding dark forces of hate, elitism, lawless and treasonous conduct, and the growing sentiment that we need no discipline, no standards, no law or regulations, to keep us safe; the mantra is – “it will work itself out somehow.”

At the eye of this storm, ravaging America is an unmoored man who makes a fair imitation of Emperor Nero in his chaotic latter days when his gifts as a younger man left him.

Mr. Donald Trump defies the promise of our nation to greet the future with open arms, to treat all as equals, to fulfill our promise of liberty and freedom, and to join the family of man spread across this wide earth.

We’ve seen more than once how Mr. Trump withdraws from us all, wraps his arms tightly around himself, purses his lips, lifts his chin in defiance, and pronounces, in his unique syntax  some offensive comment, about policy or personality, that some fear is becoming a “malignant normalcy.” Continue reading

Southern character – John S. Mosby

“The Gray Ghost”

“The Gray Ghost”

Most of us are familiar with “the Gray Ghost,” John Singleton Mosby, a Confederate Army Cavalry Battalion commander in the Civil War, a guerilla fighter leading irregulars in Northwest Virginia, and throughout Loudoun County, known for raids on the Union forces and getting away afterwards, thus the appellation, “ghost.”

I’ve always found Mosby fascinating, but more for what he did after the Civil War, transformed, serving as a lawyer and public servant, and mending a nation divided.  We might learn from his character by mimicking today how Mosby acted then.

When the Civil War began, Mosby spoke out against secession, but joined the Confederate army as a private; it was his civic duty, he said, to fight for his “country.”  Mosby found a way to reconcile these difficult choices.

Herman Melville wrote a poem, warning – “Of Mosby best beware” for “mounted and armed he sits as a king” and “each alley [is] unto Mosby known” as his battalion “kill[s] and vanish[es] … through grass they glide” and “[t]o Mosby-land the dirges cling.”

Union General Ulysses S. Grant described Mosby as “slender, not tall, wiry and [he] looks as if he could endure any amount of physical exercise.  He is able, and thoroughly honest and truthful.”

Mosby said after the war that “whoever has seen the horrors of a battlefield feels that it is far sweeter to live …”  Mosby was not the first soldier to understand that working for peace and comity is much to be preferred but to make this adjustment so quickly after a civil war is quite remarkable.

Mosby knew that “we went to war on account of the thing we quarreled with the North about.” He said, “I’ve never heard any other cause than slavery.”

After the war, he practiced law and lived in Warrenton, Virginia.  Many have appeared in the same courthouse where Mosby argued causes.  Mosby was, however, harassed after the war, some tried to kill him, but what was surprising was that General Grant granted Mosby an exemption from arrest and guaranteed his safe conduct and Mosby wrote that otherwise he “should have been outlawed and driven into exile.” Continue reading

The year of the big lie

A two-faced Chief Executive?

A two-faced Chief Executive?

A two-faced person is one who is deceitful, insincere, double-dealing, Janus-faced, hypocritical, backstabbing, false, fickle, untrustworthy, duplicitous, deceiving, dissembling, dishonest and a liar.  This unflattering portrait fits our Chief Executive, Donald Trump, like a glove.

Our first President, George Washington, was thought so truthful, honest and upright that it was believed that from the time he was 6 years old that he couldn’t tell a lie.

No such truth-telling myth will ever apply to Mr. Trump; almost every day, he tells a whopper.

President Washington composed a code of civility not to reproach another for “infirmities of nature,” not to show “yourself glad at the misfortune of another,” not to “let your conversation be of malice or envy,” and not to utter “base and frivolous things” including “things hard to be believed.”  Mr. Trump fails this measure of civility in every respect. Continue reading