Thursday, January 7, 2021

A Land Full of Power and Glory

Beauty That Words Cannot Recall: This has been one of the longest weeks in the history of the United States.

2021 Boing

There have been long weeks before. The week after the attack on Pearl Harbor lasted more than four years. The week after John F Kennedy's assassination lasted for decades. The weeks after the assassinations of Robert F Kennedy and Dr Martin Luther King Jr are, disturbingly, still going on - as is the week after the attacks of September 11, 2001.

But Abq Jew had been pretty sure that the week after the August 24, 1814 burning of the US Capitol by British troops during the War of 1812 had ended - well, a long, long time ago. 

Until yesterday.

The week that registered such hope with the Georgia elections on Tuesday -

Warnock Ossoff

recorded insurrection, shock, and tragedy just one day later.

Armed Standoff

Even though Congress (at 3:14 this morning) did ultimately confirm the elections of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris - 

Biden Harris Confirmed

the shame, the danger, and the ugliness of this week's attack on the US Capitol - fomented by the 45th President of the United States, and encouraged by some Senators and Members of Congress - will be with us for a long, long time.

On the 109th anniversary of New Mexico statehood, when our Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham wrote on social media:

Beautiful New Mexico MLG

Today our beautiful New Mexico celebrates its anniversary of statehood, marking 109 years of being the best state in the nation. Happy birthday New Mexico! #NewMexicoTrue

She was also forced to write:

I am sickened by what is occurring at the U.S. Capitol. It is nothing less than domestic terrorism, enacted in an effort to overturn a free and fair election.

The president has stoked this anti-democracy sentiment. He is responsible. He has always been responsible. The president must immediately join leaders across the political spectrum in calling for an end to the chaos he has caused.

Phil Oches The Best

Here is a song - written, performed, and recorded by Phil Ochs - that helps Abq Jew deal with the many - too many - bad moments in the history of our great American experiment.

For those who may not recall - Paul Zollo of American Songwriter wrote some 8 months ago -
“As much as has been written about the sixties,” said Steve Earle, “it’s arguable that no one experienced that defining moment in American history more personally than Phil Ochs.”

One of the most highly-regarded, brilliant and influential songwriters of our time, Phil Ochs might not be remembered by the mass public as well as other songwriters from recent history. But among songwriters, students of songwriting, authors, artists and activists, Ochs is considered one of the greatest to ever write socially-conscious songs, often leading more than following Dylan and the rest, who received more mass acclaim.

As the actor and folksinger Tim Robbins said, the reverence felt for Ochs by so many persists because he was not only a great singer and song craftsman, but because he was a truth-teller.

“Phil Ochs told the truth before it was ready to be accepted,” said Robbins, “and before it was politically expedient. He was the kind of truth-teller that made liberal allies nervous because his truth demanded an accountability to their own compromise.” 

Here is a land full of power and glory
Beauty that words cannot recall.

Oh her power shall rest on the strength of her freedom,
Her glory shall rest on us all.

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