Tom Cordle

Tom Cordle
Beeffee, Tennessee, CSA
June 16
There is your truth ... there is my truth ... and there is everything between. That leads to the better question: Is there an Everlasting Truth? I submit there is only the Everlasting Quest for the truth. __________________________________ I believe that in essence We are God. That is to say, humankind, for all it's faults, has power over Good and Evil. As the Eden Tale intimates, humans alone, in all Creation, have "eaten" from the the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil; and thus humans alone, in all Creation, have the ability and responsibility to choose between the two. Thus, each of us is in essence a god, and the Sum of us, through all generations past, present and future is God. By those choices, we are the creators of what was, what is and what will be. And by those choices, we, collectively, choose whether to exist here and now in the Kingdom of Heaven or in a Living Hell. _________________________________ "I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and incur my own abhorrence." Frederick Douglass _________________________________ "You can't pull yourself up by your bootstraps if you don't have any boots, and you can't put yourself in another's shoes -- you can't even try on their socks." Soulofhawk _________________________________ "I prefer silent vice to ostentatious virtue." Albert Einstein _________________________________ Only in silence can your hear the voice of God." Soulofhawk ____________________________________ "In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." Martin Luther King, Jr" ____________________________________ "Racists can hide in the closet, but the smell usually gives them away." Soulofhawk _________________________________ "Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it." Mark Twain ____________________________ "When we are young, Death comes as an unwelcome stranger; but as we get nearer the end of our own too-often rocky road, he comes more and more to resemble a long, lost acquaintance." Soulofhawk ____________________________________ “When monetary gain is involved, mans capacity for self-delusion is infinite.” Lord Byron _________________________________ "Where greed is good, need is great." Soulofhawk _________________________________ “And let it be noted that there is no more delicate matter to take in hand, nor more doubtful in its success, than to set up as a leader in the introduction of change. For he who innovates will have as his enemies all who are well off under the existing order of things, and only lukewarm supporters in those who might be better off under the new. This lukewarm temper arises partly from the incredulity of mankind, who will never admit the merit of anything new, until they have seen it proven by the event.” Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, Chapter VI _________________________________ "if a man falls from a pedestal, who is really to blame -- the man or those who put him up there?" Soulofhawk ____________________________________ "The history of any country, presented as the history of a family, conceals fierce conflicts of interest (sometimes exploding, most often repressed) between conquerors and conquered, masters and slaves, capitalists and workers, dominators and dominated in race and sex. And in such a world of conflict, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people, as Albert Camus suggested, not to be on the side of the executioners." Howard Zinn _______________________________ "The worst thing to be around a bigot is right." Soulofhawk ______________________________


NOVEMBER 20, 2012 2:16PM

Second Inaugural Redux

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Imagine if President Obama were to deliver these words during his Second Inaugural Address:

On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago, all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war … While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it ..." 

Those words from Lincoln's magnificent and moving Second Inaugural Address illustrate how little – and how much – has changed in the century and a half since. Though the latter war was political, it, too, has had disastrous consequences for the country. Chilling how history repeats itself.

In 2008, as in 1860, this country faced a monumental crisis. But rather than face that crisis together, now – as then – little men with massive egos put personal pique and political gain above country and deliberately sabotaged the efforts of the new President.

And just as many had a pathological hatred of President Lincoln, so many have a like hatred of President Obama. The fact that some of that pathological hatred was directed toward President Obama simply because of the color of his skin is more proof how little has changed, while the fact that he was elected – and has now been re-elected – is proof of how far we have come.

• • •

We can never know what would have happened after the Civil War if President Lincoln had lived. But the conciliatory concluding words of his Second Inaugural Address provide instruction and suggest things might have been much different for the South.

“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.” 

Again, those long ago eloquent words ring as true today. And now – as then – fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, history doesn’t repeat itself, and President Obama lives to try and fulfill Lincoln’s noble hopes for this nation.

©2012 Tom Cordle

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Two steps forward, one step back.

A tip of a beaver pelt stovepipe hat to you for this post and the sentiments of hope and fear, the two sides of this nation's heart.
Two steps forward, one step back.

A tip of a beaver pelt stovepipe hat to you for this post and the sentiments of hope and fear, the two sides of this nation's heart.
I'm not a horseman, but I've hung around with one or two. They say, when you break a wild horse, you have to do it just so, because if you break its spirit, you're not left with much. Iconoclasm and demagoguery have been tools/weapons of choice for the reactionary right for decades. You have to think these are the "end-times" or phrased a little better, the "times of fruition" for all that has been planted before. The ways and means of citizenship are viewed somehow as a threat to America because of it. Up is down, west is east. It's as though "I know you are but what am I?" has been promoted to historical significance. Judging by their immediate spin, post-election, restoring viability as a party, even if in name only, relies heavily on the tactics that lent George Orwell a career.

And Jacob Louise Sugarman: if this imprints 6 or 12 times on Tom's page, may I e-mail you or something?
The second inaugural should be a great speech for so many reasons.
The second inaugural should be a great speech for so many reasons.
Just because awful people are irrationally malicious toward Obama out of racism, doesn't mean that Obama is a competent and noble president. He is not. You quote: “With malice toward none, with charity for all..." You attribute such an attitude toward Obama who has involved us in numerous deadly wars even aligning with al Qaeda terrorists to topple governments, has gutted due process, who has assumed the right to assassinate anyone anywhere on his dictatorial word, who has killed hundreds and hundreds of innocent people with his drone attacks, who has helped sink more and more of the US into poverty and unaffordable health challenges through what he rationalizes as bipartisanship which is really a corporate cronyism and chilling disdain and pathological indifference to the needs of average Americans that is profound.

There is pathological malice about a government leader such as Obama and then there is also pathological hero worship. Faux "Lesser evilism" should not be adorned as nobility.

Obama is no Lincoln. Certainly Lincoln was no Lincoln after the mythmaking is considered but he was a statesman and Obama is a craven gamesman. It is dangerous to continue the Obama myth and let him have that continuing Trojan Horse betrayal power to finish off the United States as a constitutional republic. Considering another four years and the denial of the morally desensitized Dems his evil chances are high.

The problem (for Obambi): Lincoln had a decimated South; he could afford to be nice, much as the USofA did to all of Europe (and to a lesser extent Japan) with the Marshall Plan. Obambi has an invigorated Right Wingnuts who still want to kill him. The Right Wingnuts made the war. They must be defeated.
Thanks for all the comments -- I'd like to reply to each, as is my wont, but alas, Open Salon makes it all but impossible to do right these days.
Tom, your sentiments are quite right. Let's hope that a generous vision and an agenda committed to social justice will trump the nay-sayers and the politics-as-usual crowd.
Here's hoping that Obama accomplishes in his second term as much as Lincoln might have in his. We have a son who was on the ground in Wisconsin, and who is now in Washington for the second inaugural ceremony. He and many others were in the trenches in 2012. Pride all around.
Lincoln rules...
Nice post Tom. Some real crazy commenters these days, eh?