At peace with the life she lived

O May I Join the Choir Invisible!

Longum illud dempus, quum non ero,
magis me movet, quam hoc exiguum
.*
Cicero, Ad Atticum 12:18

O may I join the choir invisible
Of those immortal dead who live again
In minds made better by their presence; live
In pulses stirred to generosity,
In deeds of daring rectitude, in scorn
Of miserable aims that end with self,
In thoughts sublime that pierce the night like stars,
And with their mild persistence urge men’s minds
To vaster issues.

So to live is heaven:
To make undying music in the world,
Breathing a beauteous order that controls
With growing sway the growing life of man.
So we inherit that sweet purity
For which we struggled, failed and agonized
With widening retrospect that bred despair.
Rebellious flesh that would not be subdued,
A vicious parent shaming still its child,
Poor, anxious penitence is quick dissolved;
Its discords, quenched by meeting harmonies,
Die in the large and charitable air;
And all our rarer, better, truer self,
That sobbed religiously in yearning song,
That watched to ease the burden of the world,
Laboriously tracing what must be,
And what may yet be better—saw rather
A worthier image for the sanctuary
And shaped it forth before the multitude,
Divinely human, raising worship so
To higher reverence more mixed with love—
That better self shall live till human Time
Shall fold its eyelids, and the human sky
Be gathered like a scroll within the tomb
Unread forever.

This is life to come,
Which martyred men have made more glorious
For us who strive to follow.

May I reach
That purest heaven—be to other souls
The cup of strength in some great agony,
Enkindle generous ardor, feed pure love,
Beget the smiles that have no cruelty,
Be the sweet presence of a good diffused,
And in diffusion ever more intense!
So shall I join the choir invisible
Whose music is the gladness of the world.

~ George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans)

* “The great extent of time when I shall no longer be alive moves me more than this paltry span.”

Free speech

Court Rules Against Social Media Companies in Free Speech Censorship Fight –‘We reject the idea that corporations have a freewheeling First Amendment right to censor what people say’ | 17 Sept 2022 | A federal appeals court in New Orleans has ruled in favor of a Texas law that seeks to rein in the power of social media companies like Facebook and Twitter to censor free speech. The decision by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, handed down on Sept. 16, upholds the constitutionality of a Texas law signed by Gov. Greg Abbott last year and delivers a victory to Republicans in their fight against big tech censorship of conservative viewpoints. “Today we reject the idea that corporations have a freewheeling First Amendment right to censor what people say,” U.S. Circuit Court Judge Andrew Oldham wrote in the opinion. “Because the district court held otherwise, we reverse its injunction and remand for further proceedings,” Oldham added, setting the stage for a showdown in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Credit: Citizens for Legitimate Government

Inspiring stories from our nation’s early years

The legitimate right of states to nullify federal unconstitutional overreach, whether it is being done by the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the federal government, dates back to the founding fathers. When John Adams was president (1797-1801), the Alien and Sedition act was passed. This essentially made it illegal to speak against the Adams administration. The same generation that fought and won the American Revolution, and drafted first, the Articles of Confederation, and then, The United States Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, passed a law violating the right to free speech.

In 1798, Thomas Jefferson, author of The Declaration of Independence, and James Madison, who wrote the United Stated Constitution and the Bill of Rights, secretly authored the Virginia and Kentucky resolutions. These resolutions nullified the unconstitutional federal laws. In fact, they argued that the states had a duty to do so.

In 1850, Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Act, requiring all Americans to cooperate in the pursuit of escaped slaves. The Wisconsin legislature nullified the Supreme Court’s unconstitutional decision upholding the act (Ableman vs Booth, 1859) and thus protected runaway slaves from capture. This is all documented in Dr. Thomas Woods Jr.’s book, Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century.

Read more from Joseph Sansone

Fall Song

Another year gone, leaving everywhere
its rich spiced residues: vines, leaves,

the uneaten fruits crumbling damply
in the shadows, unmattering back

from the particular island
of this summer, this NOW, that now is nowhere

except underfoot, moldering
in that black subterranean castle

of unobservable mysteries — roots and sealed seeds
and the wanderings of water. This

I try to remember when time’s measure
painfully chafes, for instance when autumn

flares out at the last, boisterous and like us longing
to stay — how everything lives, shifting

from one bright vision to another, forever
in these momentary pastures.

— Mary Oliver via Joe Riley’s Panhala

International Peace Day

David Swanson does a good job explaining what it means to be against the war in Ukraine without thinking that either NATO or Russia are innocent victims.

I oppose all of the horrible killing and destruction in Ukraine, fully aware of the imperialistic history of Russia and of the fact that NATO expansion predictably and intentionally led to this war, disgusted that peace activists in Russia are locked up and sickened that they are so effectively ignored in the US that it is not needed, except for high profile whistleblowers.

Faith

‘Come, Nellie !’ I cried, on a clear April day,
When the sunbeams kept kissing the shadows away,
‘The rainbow has lit on the hill, and, you know,
We might find heaps of gold at the end of the bow.’

We were young, foolish children, sweet Nellie and I,
And we thought that the hill-top was close to the sky;
Believed, too, because we were told it was so,
We should find ‘lots’ of gold at the end of the bow.

So onward we trudged, over meadows of green,
Whose clover-blooms brightened their emerald sheen;
Then down from the hill to the valley below,
And gazed all around for the end of the bow.

‘Not here !’ I said, sadly; but Nellie replied,
‘It is hid in yon grass by the waterfall’s side;
Run fast ! if you move o’er the pebbles so slow,
I’m sure I’ll be first at the end of the bow.’

We found not the treasures we searched for till night,
But Nellie, the sweet, fragile blossom, was right;
From this valley of shades she was first called to go
To the clime where is resting the end of the bow.

Where rainbows of glory eternally play,
Our Nellie is singing with seraphs to-day;
And her beautiful pinions are folded, I know,
In the fullness of joy at the end of the bow.

Kate Harrington, born this day in 1831

It’s my last day in Ireland