A Country Rag
Chameleon: An Interactive Exploration
Epilogue: Revival -- One nation, under God, indivisible
"A nation is not conquered until the hearts of its women are on the ground."
-- Blackfeet saying
"Our government sprang from and was made for the people -- not the people for the government. To them it owes an allegiance; from them it must derive its courage, strength and wisdom."
-- President Andrew Johnson,
(A native of Greeneville and tailor by trade, U.S. Senator Johnson remained loyal, along with most of the eastern third of Tennessee, to the Union even after the state seceded officially, and was appointed its military governor by President Abraham Lincoln. As successor to the presidency, he purchased Alaska from Russia, became the first to entertain a Queen (Emma of Hawaii) at the White House, was impeached in 1868 by the U. S. House of Representatives, and was acquitted by one vote.)
"Come, I will make the continent indissoluble,/ I will make the most splendid race the sun ever shone upon,/ I will make divine magnetic lands,/ With the love of comrades,/ With the life-long love of comrades."
-- Walt Whitman, For You O Democracy
"Every other country scorns American materialism while striving in every big and little way to match it. Envy obviously has something to do with it, but there is a true basis for this debate, and it is whether America is in its ascendant or its decline.
"I myself think I recognize here several of the symptoms that Edward Gibbon maintained were signs of the decline of Rome, and which arose not from external enemies but from inside the country itself. A mounting love of show and luxury. A widening gap between the very rich and the very poor. An obsession with sex. Freakishness in the arts masquerading as originality, and enthusiasm pretending to creativeness.... In the past decade America has demonstrated the Roman folly of exercising military might in places remote from the centers of power, and of finding herself so frustrated by the stamina of primitive peoples on their own ground as to fall back on the Roman conclusion that 'nothing could reconcile the minds of the barbarians to peace unless they experienced in their own country the calamities of war.'
"There is, too, the general desire to live off the state, whether it is a junkie on welfare or an airline subsidized by the government.... And, most disturbing of all, a developing moral numbness to vulgarity, violence, and the assault on the simplest human decencies....
"The race is on between its decadence and its vitality.... There are the woes, which we share with the world, that you can see from your window: overpopulation; the pollution of the atmosphere, the cities, and the rivers; the destruction of nature."
-- Allistair Cooke, America (1974)
"A Constitution is made for people of fundamentally differing views."
-- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Supreme Court Justice
"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
Bill of Rights
(Amendments I-X of the Constitution of the United States)
The Conventions of a number of the States having, at the time of adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added, and as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution; Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two-thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States; all or any of which articles, when ratified by three-fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the said Constitution, namely:
Amendment I --
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Amendment II --
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
Amendment III --
No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
Amendment IV --
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Amendment V --
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Amendment VI --
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
Amendment VII --
In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Amendment VIII --
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
Amendment IX --
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
Amendment X --
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
Battle Hymn of the Republic
"Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord./
He is trampling out the wine press, where the grapes of wrath are stored,/
He hath loosed the fateful lightnings of his terrible swift sword,/
His truth is marching on./
I have seen him in the watchfires of an hundred circling camps/
They have builded him an altar in the evening dews and damps,/
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps,/
His day is marching on./
I have read a burning Gospel writ in fiery rows of steel,/
As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal,/
Let the hero born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,/
Our God is marching on./
He has sounded out the trumpet that shall never call retreat,/
He has waked the earth's dull sorrow with a high ecstatic beat,/
Oh! be swift my soul to answer him, be jubilant my feet!/
Our God is marching on./
In the whiteness of the lilies he was born across the sea,/
With a glory in his bosom that shines out on you and me,/
As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,/
Our God is marching on./
He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave,/
He is wisdom to the mighty, he is succour to the brave,/
So the world shall be his footstool, and the soul of Time his slave,/
Our God is marching on./"
by Julia Ward Howe 1861, from Reminiscences 1819-1899
"Housework is a treadmill from futility to oblivion with stop-offs at tedium and counter-productivity." -- Erma Bombeck
"I buried a lot of my ironing in the back yard." -- Phyllis Diller
"I can't clean house and save the world at the same time." -- Anonymous
"I hate housework. You make the bed, you wash the dishes and six months later you have to start all over again." -- Joan Rivers
"The Americas of all nations at any time upon the earth have probably the fullest poetical nature. The United States themselves are essentially the greatest poem.... Here is not merely a nation but a teeming nation of nations.... Here are the roughs and beards and space and ruggedness and nonchalance that the soul loves...."
-- Walt Whitman, Preface to Leaves of Grass
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Text and graphics c. A Country Rag, Inc.
and Jeannette Harris, Jonesborough TN, April 2008.
All rights reserved.