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Posts Tagged ‘Benjamin Franklin’

From his own words and actions, we now know with a pretty high degree of certainty why the current thing that is leaving a stain on the walls and carpets of our white house wants to sabotage and destroy our United States Postal Service. It has little to do with the smokescreen of the profitability of the USPS and almost everything to do with the suppression of voting via the mail, which has taken on greater importance during the current pandemic. He has demonstrated that he will do anything and everything to protect himself at this point including the destruction of a vital part of our national infrastructure that has been around since 1775 when Benjamin Franklin was our first Postmaster General.

And it’s all simply because he knows that if more people vote, his odds of staying in (and staining) the office go dramatically down. In fact, the only chance he and his cronies have to remain in power is if they can force people to have to vote in person then reduce the number of of voting locations, shorten the hours of voting and purge voter rolls to keep the numbers as low as possible.

Create roadblocks to voting, in other words.

Despite his warnings of vast voter fraud, I have yet to hear a cogent argument why mail in voting should not be expanded especially in a time of pandemic. I have not seen an iota of evidence that voter fraud via the mail is a real problem. In fact, most arguments point to it being more reliable and less prone to manipulation when administered with proper precautions.

And if you think about it, voter fraud via the mail or even in person voting is so much less efficient that voting machine fraud, where a simple software tweak can alter the vote totals of each machine, that it would be a ridiculous risk for the return.

The USPS is often maligned but they are still a wonder of efficiency in my eyes. Throw a letter in an envelope, jot down an address and add a stamp and stick it in the box at the end of the driveway. A person picks it up and a day or two later it is delivered anywhere in this country for 55 cents. The people who complain about this are the same people who bitch that gas doesn’t cost thirty cents a gallon anymore. To me, accessing the infrastructure that can do such a thing for less than buck is perhaps the best bargain around.

The infrastructure to do this is incredible, a force of 600,000 employees ( this includes a huge number of veterans) who have been the lifeline for many for most of the time we have been a nation. Some say that most of our messaging can be done via the web now or through private carriers such as UPS or FedEx. Of course, there is a profit necessary in order to accomplish it with private companies. FedEx would certainly never be able to deliver a letter for 55 cents and deliver to every household across the nation on a daily basis. If any private company could do what the USPS does and turn a profit they would have attempted to do so by now.

For them to compete with the USPS, the prices would have to go up drastically. Any increase in the price of doing such would be a de facto tax on you, the US citizen.

Some of this is from a post written earlier this year when the white house stain first began to attack the USPS in earnest. I am pretty passionate about the post office and am one of those people who have always loved the idea of mail. In fact, it has played a part in several of my paintings, including the piece at the top, No Mail, which hangs in my studio.

The mail has always been an important part of my life, a first life line to the outside world when I was child living in the relative isolation of our rural home. I have friends that I still write to overseas that I befriended through the mail. While we now email more, the hand written letters and notes that I still receive mean so much more to me than an electronic message read on a screen. The fact that the sender wrote it, put it in the envelope and addressed it then a different person picked it up and inserted it into this incredible system to get to me makes it a small miracle. Well, at least, a wonder.

The USPS can easily be saved. Of course, the forces that be and their wealthy friends see it as a cash cow to be exploited or a vehicle for suppressing the vote. Whether we let that happen is up to us. Call– or better yet, write– your representatives in congress and tell them to keep their hands off the post office.

So, for this Sunday Morning Music I thought we should have some mail related song. There are a lot of great choices. There’s Fats Waller‘s classic I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter which has been covered by almost every major vocalist or Please Mr. Postman from either the Marvelettes or the Beatles. Or Johny Cash’s Tear Stained Letter. Take a Letter Maria from RB Greaves. Elvis and Return to Sender.

But today I am going with the Box Tops and their song The Letter from 1967. It features the late great Alex Chilton on vocals and is always a great tune to get your blood moving. This song would have sucked if it said she wrote me an email

So, have a good day and protect our USPS.

 

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Lost time is never found again.

–Benjamin Franklin
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The clocks moved ahead by an hour this morning despite my protests. Even though I have wasted more than my fair share of time in my life, I am at an age where I hate to see an hour just taken from me. That feeling on waking to find that it’s an hour later than I was expecting makes me rush out of bed and my morning begins on a frazzled note.

So this morning–what’s left of it–has found me searching for something to play for this week’s musical selection that would stave off my lost hour panic. Something that would slow me down so that it feels like that hour is still there, somehow.

My search takes me down dead end streets on YouTube with songs that just felt wrong which only served to aggravate me more. But somehow– and don’t ask me how– I spotted this song by a group of musicians unknown to me, a French group called the Tarkovsky Quartet.  It was a composition titled Nuit Blanche (White Night) and, as I listened to it play, felt that it was the right song for this wrong morning.

So, give a listen. Most likely the idea that time springs ahead doesn’t bother you. But if it does, this song is a lovely way to spend a few minutes of time without feeling you’re wasting it.

Have a good day.

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GC Myers- Early RiserThe early morning has gold in its mouth.

Benjamin Franklin

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I am an early riser.

I guess that I’m here in the studio at 5:30 in the morning is a testament to that fact.  It’s always been that way for me even as a child.  The prospect of what the new day might bring has always been exciting enough to rouse me in the early morning.  On those days when I have a less than thrilling or an even dreaded task before me, the thought of getting started on that task so that it will just get done and out of the way does the same.

At times in my life when I worked the  overnight third shift at other jobs, the idea of going to bed when the day was breaking seemed awful and the day always felt already spent  when I eventually woke up only a few hours later, as though all possibility was drained from it while I slept.  I could never get used to that.

As an early riser, you get used to seeing the day unfold and the light changing as the sun rises.  Each morning is teeming with the potential of the new.  Even when things aren’t going well, there seems to be the possibility that this next new day will bring that change that alters one’s course in a better way.

I think that’s what I see in this new painting, a 24″ by 30″ canvas that I am calling Early Riser, of course.  The sun and its rays seem new and different but filled with a potency of possibility for the eagerly waiting Red Tree.  Meanwhile, the neighboring community slumbers, not witnessing the breaking wonder that is the new day.

This was  a difficult painting.  By that I mean it took several attempts to achieve a sky that served what I felt as I laid out the initial underpainting or bones of the piece.  Twice I got quite a ways into the sky, spending many hours each time, before painting it over and restarting.  They were patterned skies but never captured a rhythm that synced with my own emotions in the piece.  As soon as I set out the first rays of this last attempt, it felt right for this painting and everything fell into place.

And early this morning, I feel this captures my eagerness to greet the day.  Now, I have to go– there are things to be done.

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