Monday, July 04, 2011

Independence and Sober Reflection

Benjamin West, William Penn's Treaty with the Indians when he founded the Province of Pennsylvania in North America, 1771. Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia.

This, from one of my Internet heroes, John McIntyre:
The Fourth of July, particularly in a year when a presidential campaign is beginning to lumber toward cascades of hoopla and distortions, is a time when the exceptionalists tend to give the “city on a hill” line a workout. Aspiration is a good thing. The national ideals are a good thing. Attempting to live up to them is a good thing. But it is also a salutary thing to recollect, amid the gassy exhalations of the holiday, that in our role as an example to the rest of unenlightened humankind, we have sometimes made a shoddy job of it.

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