Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Proclamation + Invitation to Thanksgiving by Abraham Lincoln | 1863

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

Thursday, November 21, 2013

finishing what we started | making good on unintended consequences

Secretary of Defense mikes a compelling case for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
...One of the legacies of the past twelve years of war is that thousands of young Americans will carry physical wounds for the rest of their lives. These wounded warriors deserve to have the same opportunities to live, work, and travel as every other American, and to participate fully in society whether at home or abroad. Joining this treaty will allow the United States to help shape international practices for individuals with disabilities that are consistent with our own high standards for access and opportunity. It will also help personnel who have family members with disabilities, who often have to choose between their families and their careers when considering assignments in other countries...Failing to approve this treaty would send the wrong message to our people, their families, and the world. Approving it would help all people fulfill their potential. That's why I strongly support swift Senate action.
-- quoted by Gordon Lubold at Foreign Policy, 11.21.13 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


And the Batkid's family should lose their home.

That's the effect of the words and actions of people who want to delay, defund or do away with The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — Obamacare.

Tim Dickinson at Rolling Stone helpfully matches the Batkid messaging of 10 Members of Congress — my representative among them — with their voting record and public statements about the Affordable Care Act. 

I'm sending a link to my congressman as a reminder that words have meaning and votes have consequences — his and ours.

Monday, November 18, 2013

in the wind | tweets from the week ending 11.16.13

E-cigarettes on the school yard 

with apologies to G.K. Chesterton | sometimes good things are difficult

will wary advertisers risk Snapchat for a shot at reaching Teens?

to life! | a pretty good start

Friday, November 15, 2013

with apologies | sometimes good things are difficult

With apologies to G.K. Chesterton,* the Patient Protection and Affordable Car Act has not been tried and found wanting, it has been found difficult; and left untried.

* I borrow Mr. Chesterton's phrasing on an even bigger theme from What's Wrong with the World (1910)

Monday, November 11, 2013

in the wind | tweets from the week ending 11.09.13

smoke from a different fire | what we know about abusers of pain killers, heroin + krokodil

Samuel L. Jackson's work is (mostly) not suitable for young children | + he knows it

Sunday, November 03, 2013

in the wind | tweets from the week ending 11.02.13

bossing v partnering [part i] | a small idea from Raising Adults 

Growing up mobile | digital children in the US

opportunities + obstacles | websites + the Children's Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA)

bossing v partnering [part ii] | a small idea from Raising Adults 

The fabulous Kate Jaeger — the artist formerly known as Kate Hancock — preps for after-show hijinks at the Village Theatre production of Les Misérables, opening soon all over Seattle.

Friday, November 01, 2013

bossing v partnering [part ii] | a small idea from Raising Adults

The opposite of Bossing is Partnering. A partner asks for help when she needs it, seeks insight from others, makes room for differences in style, doesn’t make a big deal out of things that don’t really matter. 
A Boss turns into a Partner when he comes to believe his way isn’t the only way. Or when he reaches the end of his rope. Or both. When there’s too much work and not enough time. When he’s sick or double-booked or overwhelmed or just plain worn out. Most Bosses hold out as long as they can. But very few can hold out forever. Life’s too complicated. Once that time comes, the biggest question is whether there’s anybody left to Partner with.
The Boss may have done so much relational damage that no one wants to help. Why put myself on the line for someone who’s going to criticize me for not being him? He’s already made it perfectly clear that I’m inadequate for the job. 
On the other hand, if I love my Boss (and if it’s my parent or spouse there’s a pretty good chance I do) I may be willing to help when he really needs it. 
All he has to do is ask.
Asking for help and really meaning it spells the end of Bossing. And most reformed Bosses never look back because Partnering is simply more inviting for everyone involved, more fun, more profitable, more energizing.
Partners learn to relish a few extra minutes of drive time if those minutes can be used to nurture a relationship. 
Partners don’t mind not getting every plate and glass into the dishwasher if it means standing next to a child and chatting while they wash a few pots and pans together. 
Simply put, Partners place more value on people than precision.
I’m not saying there’s no place for the pursuit of perfection. I want a surgeon committed to zero defects in her team. But there’s no place for perfectionism in human relationships. When we’re talking about household chores, or getting across town, if someone gets it wrong, nobody dies. What’s the big deal that’s worth alienating our children over how the dishes get washed?
Next time you realize you just freaked out over a detail that was—in the grand scheme of lifeless than nothing, try being your own Collaborator. Take a moment and ask yourself:
  • What just happened here? What did I say and do in front of my child? What message do I think he got from me?
  • Why did I send that message? Why did that seem so important to me just then?
  • How do I want to proceed from here? What do I want to communicate in the next 30 minutes? How do I want to handle myself the next time something like this comes up?

At the end of the day, Partnering is better for raising adults than Bossing. When I Partner, my kid becomes a participant, not just an observer. I want that. When I Partner, my child learns new skills that prepare her for the future. I want that too. When I Partner, I free up time to focus on other important things—like how I’m really doing in life. 
Okay, I’m not sure I want that. But it’s what I need. The truth is, one reason I get Bossy about details that really matter only to me—elevating a simple task to the level of national security—is to divert myself (and everyone around me, I hope) from the reality of where I truly am compared to where it seems plain I need to be.
Now that I think of it, I really don’t care for this line of reasoning. I’ll forget about Partnering if you will.
— from Raising Adults