There is no greater freedom than being somewhere in the American West with nowhere you have to be, ambling in search of the perfect platonic campsite, living on little, and just giving yourself to all that astonishing open public land.
We need to have a more nuanced national dialogue about every possible issue. But it cannot occur as long as we decide we are baked in and nothing is going to change my mind about X, or Y, or Z. And it cannot occur until we agree upon a genuine commitment to truth.
The psychological fallout came screaming out in Query XIV—a kind of dark racist diatribe against African-Americans, a subterranean fantasy projection of Jefferson’s guilt, anger (including self-anger), eroticism, self-protection, and what is known as casuistry—making the case for something you know is wrong.
What if he had never left the United States? How would things have been different? Jefferson had turned down two previous high-level government invitations to take up a diplomatic post in Paris. He finally made the journey in July 1784 because his wife Martha was dead, because he was still reeling from his frustrating and unsuccessful tenure as the wartime Governor of Virginia, and of course he wanted to see the Old World, especially France.
It’s Tax Day. I’m supposed to be grumpy.
Let us now praise a few of the unsung heroes of Thomas Jefferson’s world.
A number of infectious diseases are making a comeback thanks to vaccine refusers, among them true plague, mumps, measles, tuberculosis, chicken pox, and scarlet fever.
In the course of my long strange trip through life I have had the chance to do some really satisfying things. One of my favorites is to do a varied series of public presentations in a short space of time.
We can get into the arena and fight for our republic. You are going to make some enemies, and even your friends are going to roll their eyes or worry a little about you, but you have to go to the city council meetings, the Iowa caucuses, the town hall forums, the hearing about the wind towers or the waste disposal project. When people of modesty and integrity stand up and speak with muted passion about republican values, others listen.
The American people regard the US Constitution as a sacred document—even though Jefferson specifically asked us not to—and historically we have been very reluctant to tamper with it. Too bad, because it is badly in need of fundamental revision. Our Constitutional order has broken down. After years of thinking about this, I offer the following amendments.