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Fruitful fields and healthful skies: Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Day proclamation.

lincoln memorialBy the President of the United States of America.

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

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State

Faith, Food, Friday: “After the Trayvon Martin Case”

If you missed our last “Faith, Food, Friday” “After the Trayvon Martin Case” you can listen to the audio online here.

Photo credits: Bob Howard

St. Pete Village Square on December 5th!

Screen shot 2013-11-25 at 4.25.53 PMIf by chance you’ll be in the Tampa/St. Pete area December 5th, the Village Square St. Pete is hosting a program you shouldn’t miss, “Oh Florida, Capital of Weirdness… “From Elian Gonzalex and Ballot-Chasing Lawyers to Ponzi Schemers, Face-Eating Cannibals and Child-Eating Pythons.” It features Dr. Gary Mormino, Professor Emeritus of Florida History at USFSP. Yep that’s our state. While you’re at it, why not visit the St. Pete Village Square website at online here.

Click this link to register.

Matthew Dowd | Nuclear option, tribalism and Founding Fathers

Thomas Jefferson doorstopMatthew Dowd today on This Week with George Stephanopoulos:

“We also must keep in mind that the Founding Fathers warned against day in and day out, including President Washington, about the power of political parties. And the power of parties to tear apart the government and create this dysfunction. We are at a point now where the political parties and people line up in these tribes and it’s very difficult. As I say, you can’t have the same rules in chess oh we’re going to be fine and all that, as you have in mixed martial arts which is where the situation is today in Washington.

“Where we are today George, where we are today is the president in 2008 and 2007 ran on the idea that he was going to bring the country together, bring Washington together. We’re going to get past the partisan gridlock. We’re going to get past the vitriol. And now we’re at a point where the rules have to change in the Senate because it’s become so polarized, so vitriolic that we can’t get it done.”

Village Square’s next tactic: A ball pit?!

(H/T to Lea Marshall)

Recalling the Day JFK Died, 50 Years Ago

slide_264933_1788378_freeOK, here’s my contribution to the “Where Were You When President Kennedy Was Shot?” discussion. It being a Friday, I was driving to the bank in Oklahoma City to deposit my paycheck before heading to work. I had just completed my first year as a reporter for the Daily Oklahoman, the state’s leading daily newspaper. Glued to my car radio for more details, I hurriedly completed my transaction at the drive-up window and raced to the office, which I knew would be in all-hands-on-deck mode.

It was. The newsroom was in bedlam as editors on the afternoon paper, the Oklahoma City Times, frantically tore up their front page to get details of the assassination into at least a portion of the press run. Meanwhile, editors of the morning paper on which I worked, the Daily Oklahoman, were huddled to draw up plans for the next day’s paper. While we awaited our assignments, we reporters eagerly snatched bulletins from the AP and UPI teletypes from the hands of the copyboys whose job it was to monitor “the wires.”

Eventually, my City Editor began handing out assignments. The star writer and a photographer were quickly dispatched to Dallas, which is just 300 miles from “The City,” as Oklahoma City was known. Others were assigned to do the stories on the transition of power to Lyndon B. Johnson, the grieving widow Jackie, the nation in shock and mourning. A couple of reporters were assigned to gather reaction from leaders in our state: members of Congress, state legislators, city and county officials, federal judges and law enforcement officers. Two or three others went out into stores and bars for the man-in-the-street reaction.

My assignment: Write a story about LBJ’s last visit to Oklahoma City. The Vice President had been to the state a few months before, for what I no longer remember. Researching our clip-files for stories on the visit and calling local dignitaries who had met with LBJ, I put together a 15-inch story that was published deep inside that Saturday morning paper. I was grateful to have something productive to do, and the concentration required to report and write the story took my mind off the horror of the events in Dallas. I thought of my sister Joan, who lived in Greenville, just a few miles east of Dallas, and her husband Dick, whose parents lived in Dallas.

Most of us worked all weekend to continue to report what was certainly the biggest story any of us had ever covered. By Sunday, we were wrung-out, exhausted after two days of 12- to 15-hour shifts, thinking that on Sunday there might be time to relax, unwind, maybe even smile. But of course there wasn’t, because Jack Ruby decided to take justice into his own hands in the Dallas Police Station that day.

And the presidential funeral – that terrible day of national mourning marked by a 2-year-old boy’s salute to his father’s passing coffin and a riderless horse with empty boots turned backward in the stirrups — still lay ahead on Monday.

David Klement, Executive Director

Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions

St. Petersburg College


Today at 12:30, College of Law Rotunda: John Bradshaw on nuclear negotiations and human rights in Iran

CONTACT: Mark Schlakman
(850) 766-2146; mschlakman@admin.fsu.edu

Nov. 19, 2013


John C. Bradshaw, executive director of the National Security Network, will speak at Florida State University Nov. 20 as part of the “Human Rights & National Security in the 21st Century” lecture series.

Against the backdrop of heightening tensions surrounding Iran’s nuclear pursuits as negotiators from the P5+1 countries and Iran return to Geneva with a concrete proposal that is providing some cause for encouragement, there is a push from some U.S. senators for new sanctions that may complicate U.S. negotiations. Bradshaw will address these issues in his lecture, “Iran: Nuclear Negotiations, Human Rights and Other Emerging Regional Priorities.”

Prior to joining the National Security Network, Bradshaw served as executive director of the Enough Project at the Center for American Progress, Washington director of Physicians for Human Rights and coordinator of the Human Rights Leadership Coalition, which comprises 12 major U.S. human rights organizations.

Bradshaw previously was a foreign service officer, serving in Venezuela, Brazil and Burma, as well as in the State Department’s East Asia and Human Rights bureaus. He also served as a foreign policy adviser for Sens. Paul Wellstone and Robert Torricelli, then members of the Foreign Relations Committee.

The FSU Center for the Advancement of Human Rights lecture series explores the frequent tensions between human rights interests and national security imperatives. This lecture is sponsored in collaboration with the National Security Network and is free and open to the public. It will be held:

12:30 – 1:30 P.M.





Public parking is available across the street at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center, 505 W. Pensacola St.

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Check out St. Petersburg Village Square’s television ad

Next Tuesday the Gettysburg Address is 150… A wish that we might take “increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion”

The distribution of wealth in the United States (it will surprise you)

The distribution of wealth in the United States (it will surprise you)

Rabbi Jack Romberg: Pondering the nature of good and evil (reflecting on last Friday’s “Faith, Food, Friday” conversation)

Romberg_JackIf you missed Friday’s “Faith, Food, Friday” conversation “After the Trayvon Martin Case” here is a blog post by “God Squad” co-founder Rabbi Jack Romberg of Temple Israel Tallahassee. You can read other entries from his blog “The Jewish Observer” online here.

Here’s a snip:

But what framed all of these lessons from Krystallnact in a new light was participating in a panel discussion through our ongoing “Faith, Food, and Friday” series on racism in America in a post Trayvon Martin atmosphere. Joining me were 3 other clergy as well as Ahmad Abuznaid, a founder and leader of the Dream Defenders – the political action group that occupied the Florida state capital after the verdict in the Martin case came down. We discussed many aspects of race issues in America – the changing demographics of the country, the persistence of prejudice, the need to form relationships across ethnic and ideological barriers – but there was one aspect of the discussion that has haunted me, that just refuses to go away.

Chris Christie gets Village Square points: Part 2

On election eve:

"Let me tell you, if you’re looking for the candidate that you agree with 100% of the time, then I want you to do something for me tonight: Go home and look in the mirror, because that’s the only person you agree with 100% of the time. But sometimes we make political candidates feel like that’s what you want. Like you want us to agree with you 100% of the time or you won’t vote for us. You know what happens then? If you make politicians believe that, you know what they’ll do, they’ll just lie to you. They’ll just look you in the eye and they’ll say ‘hm, I wonder what she wants to hear."’..