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April 14, 2004

And eagles on their buttons. From Frederick Douglass via Cosma Shalizi, a shatteringly effective argument for the good over the ideal. [11:48 PM]
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Hard-Hitting Moderator: Teresa Nielsen Hayden.

Comments on And eagles on their buttons.:

Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2004, 12:11 AM:

Riffing on the Gettysburg Address; that's nice. And saying, among other things, "You guys had the luxury of taking a confused short-term view of things. You could demand the privilege and luxury of a leader whose statements matched your own personal sentiments. We never did. We never could. We watched, and weighed, and knew that whatever else happened, this was the man who would bring us liberty."

Frederick Douglass took politics seriously. Of course, he had to.

Lenora Rose ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2004, 01:49 AM:


I often have a hard time getting through the written text of speeches without skimming, and I admit I skimmed the first paragraph - then it started its work, and I started reading properly. That may not sound like a high testament, but in this case, it is. Not only disturbingly relatable to current US affairs, but "Shatteringly effective" in itself, for its original purpose. (And I've been writing too darn many reviews lately).

Teresa, isn't short term view a luxury in virtually every circumstance? There is a place for luxuries in life, of course, but...

Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2004, 11:37 PM:

Lenora, in that context it was a luxury. It often is, though not always; for people living hand to mouth, being able to take the long term view is a luxury.

I remember thinking, when the bills were starting to mount up during the Reagan Administration, that the most expensive luxury I know of is not having to pay attention to costs and consequences.