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I have been thinking about the Civil War—the grave danger to the union, the huge loss of life, "brother against brother" (something much more imaginable than ever before). And the many terrible & antidemocratic court decisions in our history, like Plessy v Ferguson, the Japanese internment camps, the 3/5ths compromise, Citizens United.

I'm reminded that we as a country have survived many disasters. I know that doesn't mean we will survive the current catastrophic administration & its appalling apologists, but I do have a little hope. We survived the Great Depression and the robber barons & the Gilded Age & slavery, and I don't think people were smarter, kinder, tougher. A moral genius came along and preserved the Union. Maybe we will be lucky & find one again. Did the nation in the 1860s deserve Lincoln any more than we deserve tRump? I don't think so, but we got them.

Now we have to refuse to buckle to despair. Who will that help? Read More 
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Lincoln tower

A quick 2-day trip to D.C. to meet up with my sister. We packed in a lot, including Ford's Theater, a small & intensely interesting homage to Lincoln. I was particularly taken with this tower constructed entirely of books about Lincoln. Except not books: empty tin boxes wrapped with copies of the covers of these thousands of books. Even now, 150 years after his death, more books are written about Lincoln than just about anyone. As we go into the last week of this dismal election, I will think about those difficult & scary times.  Read More 
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