Lest we think that what some currently perceive as anger in America over political divides is something new, Doris Kearns Goodwin reminds us of past congressional misconduct in her Pulitzer Prize winning biography NO ORDINARY TIME about Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: "On a number of occasions, particularly in the nineteenth century, the debates had descended into physical violence as members brandished pistols, smashed one another's heads with tongs, canes, and brass spittoons, and pummeled each other with fists". At least we have not devolved to that level of behavior which was confined to the House of Representatives at the time. But what has happened during the last century-plus is the rise in technology (e.g. television, computers, internet, smart phones, text messaging, e-mail, Twitter and, yes, blogs like this one) that permit everyone with access to this technology to exercise his/her rights under the first amendment, and instantaneously spread his/her thoughts and opinions world-wide in a nanosecond, sometimes with little or no thought as to whether or not they are true, or the condition of the people who hear or read them, or what ramifications they might generate. That is why the tone in which they are expressed is extremely important. Former President Bill Clinton said it best this past week in remarks before the Center for American Progress Action Fund: "....the words we use really do matter". The intent is not to stifle debate on profound public issues, but rather just make everyone engaged in such dialog, including radio and television personalities, aware that inflamed and extreme rhetoric has very serious consequences, in my view.
Continuing, as well as building on last week's recognition of local artists, I would like to begin adding local galleries to my list of links for readers to access and enjoy just for the pure pleasure of what they offer. So, please advise of any that you feel should be added, but prior permission of any such recommended artist or gallery will be obtained before posting on this blog.
Laura Raborn at http://www.paintingsofhome and http://www.claygifts.com
Jim Johnson at http://www.yessy.com/jimjohnson/gallery.html
Russ Powell at http://www.powellphotos.com
Local Colour Gallery at http://www.localcolourgallery.com
Chroma Gallery at http://www.chromagallery.com