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The motto of Boston College, where Heather is a distinguished Professor of American History, is Aien Aristeuein (English letters in place of Greek), which means EVER TO EXCEL. Heather always excels in her daily "Letters from an American." I at least skim if not read the daily op-ed pieces in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and the Washington Post. None of the regular columnists on their op-ed pages comes close to matching the quality of Heather's Letters. Her letters are filled with relevant history and are written in a style that grabs our attention and helps us understand the complicated country and world we live in. She is never dull, she ALWAYS EXCELS. And we are better people thanks to you, Heather. Joe Parkes, NYC

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Jan 7, 2022·edited Jan 7, 2022

Dr. Richardson is a Professor of History and, also, (and this skill was likley acquired long before she went to college), she is an benchmark writer of the English language.

The combination of being a truly passionate, and well trained Historian and a top flight writer?

Well, we are here to see the result.

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Yes, Indeed. Even when she writes a date, "January 6, 2022," e. g., she puts the Oxford comma after "2022," which so many people, including those who claim to be journalists, often fail to do.

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Jan 7, 2022·edited Jan 7, 2022

The Oxford comma, also known as the serial comma, is optional and involves lists not dates. But you're correct that a comma should follow the year, as in your example. Don't be too harsh on journalists for such small errors. Except for a precious few large newspapers and magazines, staffs have been whittled away to a bare minimum yet are publishing on multiple platforms. Copy editors, who used be the last line of defense for fixing such things as punctuation and grammar mistakes, are an endangered species.

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Thanks, Michael, for correcting my error about the Oxford comma. Now if we in the U.S. were to write dates as is done in most other countries, we wouldn't need to write any commas, e.g., "6 January 2022 is a great day!'

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Sorry, Richard, but the Oxford comma is placed right before a conjunction ("and," "or," etc.) in a series of three or more terms. The "January 6, 2022," date format is not governed by the Oxford comma rule.

"Style manuals, including the Chicago Manual of Style and AP Stylebook, recommend using commas in pairs to set off the year. A comma should appear both before and after the year."

https://editorsmanual.com/articles/commas-in-dates/

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My editorial brain appreciates this post immensely, Mim!

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Thank you, Ashley.

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Seem to recall she has a master’s in English?

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Agree with your praise of HRC’s insights and enlightenments. She is undeniably a daily treasure.

One point I can’t agree with: “… the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and the Washington Post. None of the regular columnists on their op-ed pages comes close to matching the quality of Heather's Letters.” Each of those publications has some phenomenal thinkers and writers and analysts among their staff. Maybe not daily columnists, but regulars certainly. Just saying. OK, defending.

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Great comment, Joe …Go, Heather and Go BC!

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👍👍👍👍

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She always excels.

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Thanks for this Joe!!

And I agree 100%. She is Our Angel😊💕

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Joe Parkes, I could not state it better nor agree more. I am hopeful that in the quiet moments of most Americans' lives, they care as much about our freedom, our right to vote for choice in our destinies as I do when I read the words of a scholarly, patriotic American professor, Heather Cox Richardson. May justice come to bear now lest we have to fight again for our freedom and all that our blessed America stands for, at a cost I can't bear to consider. PWR, American

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Excellent comment, Joe! I find lots of the headlines of the Washington Post, to which I subscribe, often misleading. I often criticize them in my responses to their stories, both negatively and positively.

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News headlines, yes, Richard, have to agree. (NYT is the worst offender.) Several OPINION WRITERS, however, are quite good.

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Absolutely agree!

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Listening to President Biden’s speech yesterday, I was proud of him, and proud to be a patriotic American! Joe threw down the gauntlet and called out the malignancy of his predecessor and his enablers.

I didn’t spend 26 years in the Navy, protecting our country and its Constitution, just to see it all shredded by a mob of ignorant, despicable traitors, egged on by the worst treat to Democracy since the founding of this great nation…Donald J. Trump!

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Of all the traitors the ones are not called out yet and are the worst are the Republicans in Congress

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Yes, especially the Representative in my district. He is name Scott Perry, PA-10 (R). He is a total tRUMPER, and also a General in the PA National Guard. Ain't that scary!

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I’m one of the fortunate ones. CA45 has Rep. Katie Porter. I hope we keep her. Midterms coming!

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My Representative Rodney Davis and the Rep next door, Darin LaHood, are Trumplicans, also. They voted with him and are anti-Biden.

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Now that you know them, actively work for the opposition candidates.

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Then you know what you must do, starting with your state Democrat Party committee.

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I’m stuck with Andy Biggs in Arizona. This is such a Mormon Republican district that even with his seditious behavior they won’t vote against him.

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Then publicly call him out. No one should be allowed to hide behind a religious organization. Time to call out those Mormons who, knowing who follows the path of evil, allow themselves to provide cover are no better.

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Sadly there are so many other horror shows who belong to the same club. I wont say serves with him because they serve no one but themselves and the former guy.

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I hope they are investing Grassley, who sent out a weird tweet on January 5th, claiming that HE would be in charge of the Senate, not Pence - who would not be present. What?

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Grassley is ancient and needs to retire and go lie in the grass. I don't think the grass would mind that kind of lying.

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LOL! True!

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under the grass

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Lee Zeldin, repping a section of Long Island, NY, was one of the “rats” who wouldn’t certify the election…and is eyeing the Governorship. Hell NO!

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Then you know what your duty demands. Not every person who has fought and died for this nation held an elected office - but all of us have benefitted from their sacrifice. We owe it to them.

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We are saddled with Doug LaMalfa in my N CA Representative! Abhorrent to say the least.

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Then get active and support his opponent. You have the right to demand honorable people to represent you.

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LaMalfa and McClintock are both worthless. Every workday, I have the (not so) good fortune of driving through their districts, and the Nunes and McCarthy districts. 🙄

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Well said, Sailor. (I would have said "shipmate" since the Navy was the branch of service I had chosen until I discovered that being gay was (in 1977) a bar to service.)

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Jan 7, 2022·edited Jan 7, 2022

It was yet another painful and shameful day when tfg turned back the hard won right for trans persons to serve.

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I'm sorry you couldn't fulfill that particular dream at that time. From someone who grew up in a family with three tuba players!

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Unfortunately, Trump's malignancy seems to be spreading throughout the country. President Biden's speech was excellent and timely. If only he had been speaking out forcefully over his first year as Commander In Chief, just maybe the media would have shut down their daily, no hourly, mention of the former autocratic ruler we had from 2017 to January 20, 2021. May we remember the words of The Battle Hymn of the Republic.

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Sadly, it would not have changed the words at the media Republicans and Trumpists listen to. Rupert Murdoch and whoever is funding the others want this democracy pulled apart and down. Interesting to read Dr. Richardson's history of this hymn that has always brought tears to my eyes.

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Reaching the hardcore Trumpers is hopeless, granted. But the mainstream media's reluctance to acknowledge what the Republicans are up to is making it easy for many USians to avoid thinking too hard about what's happening. I'm continually amazed by how lackadaisical many of the non-activists I know are. These people vote regularly and are reasonably well informed, but some of them at least still think the rest of us are hyperventilating. It's frustrating.

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I was disappointed with the Washington Post article in this morning’s Albuquerque Journal. Under the headline “Biden pillories Trump over Jan. 6”, 25% of the article was devoted to Trump’s response. The media needs to quit volunteering “both sides are equal” coverage.

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It's maddening, both the madnesses you address. I won't shut up if I start talking about this, but, yeah, "It's frustrating." Good God.

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I admit to never paying much attention to the hymn. That is until Heather’s post. Now :’-)

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So many people seem to be expecting a civil war, some hoping for it. Americans always want a blowout and we haven’t had one since ww2. Here we are reading the words of the battle hymn of the republic. You have to wonder, How much testosterone is the right amount. When do you stand up like an oak and show some spine, and when do you bend like a willow and do you trust to electionElection Day

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...and when do you bend like a willow and trust to Election Day? Does confrontation increase the possibility of violence, or is it coming, no matter what, so let’s get those juices flowing. If you’re going to get into a war of words, you have to shoot from the lip. take no prisoners. None of that pussyfootin’ and no mansplainin’. Dems need writers, bad. They need that killer instinct.

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Thank you for your service to our country, James.

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Absolutely. I was working and couldn't see it live, but I watched the video when I got home, then stood and saluted. I feel very much the same about my 24 years in the USAF, but wondering more and more if I wasn't defending the right of some Americans to be as stoopid as they want to be.

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One of the toughest assignments I had was to provide part of a "police security barrier" for some anti-abortionists when they protested the opening of a new Planned Parenthood clinic. Those people were so antithetical to what I believe.

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I think of the Capitol Police who committed suicide. Can you imagine if you had dedicated your life to protecting democracy and the Constitution and the U.S. Capitol, and then your neighbors and perhaps friends and relatives show up like they did on January 6?

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I have spent time thinking about this, and looking where I see my fellow retirees. I can't even imagine that stress.

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I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. Being driven to suicide. It’s horrific to contemplate.

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Hmm. You have 262 ❤️s. Looks like a few people agree with you.

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On the first anniversary of Jan. 6, Biden delivered a brave, necessary, intelligent address . I wish we hadn't had to wait so long for it, but it finally came, definitive and unflinching, true right down to the bone. Well-reasoned and thrilling. I'm proud to be on his side and to have heard this speech.

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I was very pleased by Biden’s overdue but well-delivered, excellent speech. I wish the previous day’s speech by AG Garland had been as clear and forthright.

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It is important to understand that the attack on the Capitol was a very dark day in our nation's history and I am eager to see those who participated, planned, coordinated, and financed it held accountable. However, the larger crime is the attempt to interfere with the certification of the electoral count by Congress and overturn the results of the election. This is a very serious federal crime under federal law. For those interested the statute is 18 USC 1512, conspiring to interfere with and obstruct an official proceeding to certify an election. Further and more serious counts could well be brought against Trump and many others who conspired to overturn the results of a free, fair, and secure election. I wish to see that investigation proceed, charges brought, and indictments delivered.

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Exactly. This could/should mean that participating Republicans would go to jail and not be allowed to hold office again. This is more important, imo, than jailing the actual rioters.

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Yes! But, to get the participating Republicans, DOJ must start with flipping the rioting pawns.

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So do all of us who live outside the beltway and the media world. Whether it happens or not depends on the presence of courage and integrity in that little community of frenemies and therein lie the doubts. I don't see a Sam Ervin, Howard Baker, Fred Thompson or Sam Dash anywhere on the horizon and, so far, there doesn't seem to be a John Dean either.

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There are to my understanding a good number of first hand witnesses cooperating. J6 is so much larger, more complicated, and with far more criminal acts than Watergate. There will be multiple mini-me Deans.

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Saying it is one thing, seeing it will be believing. I profoundly hope that Mr. Garland is sincere and will be effective but, so far, it remains to be seen.

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I will continue to point out that a case against Trump has to be more of a slam dunk than any other slam dunk, more airtight than any other airtight case. Were he indicted and tried, and got off, it would be a million times worse than if he had never been charged at all.

"When you attack the king, you MUST kill him."

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A lot depends on the trial judge and what court the process starts in. We all know where it's going to end up. No one will want to risk a reversal of even a ruling let alone a decision. I'm not trying to minimize the challenges Garland and the DoJ face but there is an effective time limit as well.

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While the time limit the congressional 1/6 committee faces (this fall's elections) doesn't affect the DoJ, they do have a time limit: if they don't make their move before TFG declares for re-election, they will be constrained by the DoJ's own rules that they cannot bring cases that "may affect the outcome of a political campaign." So you are right, there are time limits all around. I was just IMing with a friend today about the over-under he'd announce at his Wankfest in Phoenix a week from tomorrow. He's been told there are campaign finance laws that would restrict his activities if he announced too soon, but he may not worry about that if he wants to use the campaign to block prosecution.

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Once again I must quote the great journalist from the past, I. F. Stone: "Governments lie." I agree with you, Dave, 'seeing it will be believing,' or "The proof is in the pudding.' I think I have that quote correct.

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Quoting Dr. Gregory House, "Everybody lies." So why wouldn't governments?

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Because we vote for people who we thought had some integrity and the good of the country at heart. We common folks' lies don't have the same importance or effect.

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Great! I'm so pleased I can see reruns of Dr. House during the day. But that does take away from other valuable things I could be doing.

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Agree completely. Many a slip twist the cup and the lip.

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The insurrectionists who have gone to trial have gotten slaps on wrists. Black people have gotten longer prison sentences for minor drug possession. Being white really acts as a shield against any real justice.

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It's so sad that there were not enough police and troops there on 1/06/21, to arrest every stinking one of those that did the attack. Forcefully entering the U.S. Capitol and causing injuries and damage is a felony.

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Jan 7, 2022·edited Jan 7, 2022

Not having enough troops was a deliberate move by tRump and Miller. When the mayor of DC said early in the morning of January 6th that they had 360 Capitol Police officers on duty, I screamed at the TV, "You need 36,000!" We in Michigan who had watched our state capitol takeover by machine gun toting magats knew exactly what was going to happen, especially after word of changes to head Defense Department personnel a few days before. Luckily at 1:30 pm on the 6th I took a 3 hour nap or I might have destroyed my TV and had a heart attack.

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Not sad. Part of the plan.

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I'd like to see Bannon immobilised and made as uncomfortable as possible while he awaits trial. Meanwhile that weevil Farage continues to pop up unheralded.

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Jan 7, 2022·edited Jan 7, 2022

Anne-Louise, and the same to Roger Stone. It galls me that he was pardoned by iDJT and is now right back to his old tricks.

Gosh, there is an awfully long list of despicable characters surrounding the defeated and beaten egotistical former …. I can’t even bring myself to say his name.

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An elegant fantasy Sophia; one can always hope.

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I think the Dems are beginning their battle and starting it en masse. I agree with MaryPat about strategy. The administration has now established both a great offense and a great defense. Charge!!

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As a former lobbyist, I do not agree that Biden's speech yesterday was long overdue. In politics timing is everything. First things first - focus on cooperation with legislators to save (vaccines) then improve ($$$$$) lives of Americans. Second - don't rile up your opposition, at least not before you get #1. Third, don't lead until you have gotten the people headed in your direction. Fourth, lead.

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sounds like advice from a political operative...I am not one, but it seems to me that there are both overt AND covert agendas that must be respected in order to prevail in the political arena.

How about this alternative set of rules...

First, count the votes

Second, determine which of your opponents are vulnerable at the mid-terms

Third, work with the local/state party organizations to find early/vocal political opponents in anticipation of next election cycle, help by feeding them talking points from inside the beltway

Fourth, wage a daily war of information to counter disinformation at every level. Lead by creating the narrative rather than ignoring it or reacting to it.

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All of this, too. Thank You.

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Interesting. I hadn't said it was "long overdue," but that "I wish we hadn't had to wait so long for it" which implies an understanding that there were reasons for the wait. Respecting those reasons, it still felt like a very long time between extreme provocation and measured, appropriate response.

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Sorry, someone else said long overdue, and I should have placed this comment there.

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As for #1, President Biden has bent over backwards trying to get cooperation. It well past time that he realized that it won't work.

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❤️❤️❤️ always love your posts 🙏

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Not overdue, at all. It was 'a President' explaining in no uncertain terms how this Country had been violated, right under the nose of a derelict Commander, "The Big Loser"... toting "the Big Lie".

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You tell me. The GOP hasn’t been normal for a long time. MaryPat’s outlined steps is absolutely spot on with timing. And that is absolutely called for when a leader is being challenged by brutes.

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Jan 7, 2022·edited Jan 7, 2022

Timing. What I am seeing locally and at our state level in Michigan is promising . For example, two promininent conservative legislators running for office describing themselves as "moderate" Republicans. That would have been a death knell a year ago. Heather Cox Richardson reporting in a chat (last week) that the tRumper congresspeople terrified Mitch McConnel (and those who bankroll him) when they were refusing to raise the debt ceiling, which would have devastated our economic standing in the world. My local (trumper country, Sinclair Broadcast Group ) newspaper actually calling the January 6th event "The Insurrection" on the front page yesterday. Those are legislators and media I could work with. Wouldn't have been possible a year ago.

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Because so many people believe "it can't happen here," it was necessary to allow the time for things to happen so people could start to see they were wrong. If Biden had given this speech the first week in office, it would have had almost no effect. As MaryPat says, "timing is everything." Particularly in politics.

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You are so right, Sophia. Biden must understand that the GOP wants to continue locking him through this year's November election, which likely will win them the House and maybe even the Senate. If that happens, please look back to recent history and note that the same damned thing happened to Obama!

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I'm pretty sure that even life-long Republican Margaret Chase Smith would have been proud of that speech.

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Especially MCS. 70 years ago, she was calling out her fellow Republicans for riding on the backs of the “Four Horsemen of Calumny–Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry, and Smear" in her famous speech against McCarthyism. Little has changed in the GOP except that the MCS's of the party have all been purged.

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So in your compliment there is a caveat. I believe it’s all the caveats that are hindering our fight for democracy. For every caveat and implied criticism, there is a way for treason to defeat reason.

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I do not disagree or resent your opinion. My opinion stated above is that I cringe at the “FINALLY” juxtaposed with a statement that we can at last quote President Biden. And while many have waited, the only one quoted has been the former and his band of merry traitors.

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Sophia and Christine, thanks for your opinions. We are still lucky that we can put our opinions in print and not get arrested, imprisoned, or disappeared, as happens in so many other countries. May we hope that we shall be able to continue to do so.

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Correct. The media campaign began on Day 1. Dosed through the recognised left and right wing outlets.

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Oh, he quotes me all the time! ;-)

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Hahaha so he does...

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LOL😆😆😆

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As a psychotherapist in the northeast I am privileged to witness and hear my clients’ innermost thoughts and feelings.

While those I serve are reporting anxiety about what they are reading or watching on the news, very few seem to understand exactly how a loss of democracy or the vote could affect them. Unfortunately, many young people suggest that all politicians are awful and they do not believe their vote can make a difference.

Heather, I think we need to help the public understand the real-life consequences of autocracy.

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I said this same thing yesterday,

We need a National Campaign for Democracy. Or it could be called Democracy Now. Anyway it would NOT have flowery, self aggrandizing speeches from politicians. The contents? A bullet point by bullet point comparison of life for the average person under a Dictatorship and a Democracy. It would have footage of people oppressed by dictators speaking and images of their Countries. I see a bullet point presentation of the rights we have now that have been threatened by which person. For example trump saying he wanted to eliminate the tax that funds Social Security. This exhibit would travel from City to City and set up in schools, Malls, outdoor Plazas.

I am going to contact The Lincoln Project with this idea.

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I think this is a good general concept. One of the Congresspeople made a similar point last night, saying how do we walk people back from extremism ? We were created to get out from under monarchy.

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I contacted The Lincoln Project with this idea. We will see. And if anyone knows of a nonpolitical organization who would have the funds to take this on that would be great.

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Effective education that relies on historic facts is going to be very important in the near future.

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We need a serious rededication to educating all Americans, beginning with the youngest. Since Reagan, we have starved our schools, underpaid our teachers and allowed local school boards to hollow out any semblance of civic education. A democracy cannot subsist without and engaged and informed public. We now have at least 3 generations of under-educated Americans who don’t know anything about their own government or their responsibilities regarding it. Into this situation step those who foment hate, dispense lies and grab for power. The undereducated are the perfect target. Until we get very serious in our nationwide support for universal, quality education for all, our democracy will be at risk. Just imagine for a moment what could happen if the military budget became the education budget! My heart soars!

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Centuries before Reagan. Going back to the "1 room schoolhouse," women were the teachers in almost all cases, and grossly underpaid. Because "women's work" is so highly valued in the US. /s

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Well said, MHanni. One quibble: Our democracy already IS at risk.

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Yes, yes, yes! Absolutely agree we need to improve our educational system. And yes, check out the significant differences in budget allocation for education compared to military. I’m a retired teacher, 30 plus years, early education through college, including ESL, and government Title I programs. We need to improve and recognize the inequality built into the system through lack of funding. Much of district budgets are state and local. And funded by different tax laws and regulations. Compare quality that includes curriculum and “extras” and the campus and buildings. Zip codes in communities often tell us about our local schools and funding, poverty, diversity and/or lack of diversity. And appropriate curriculum must include civics and government and history for all students starting in earliest grades. We have great challenges: how political education is in USA, number of schools, districts and students in such a huge country. Diversity of our population. And definition of “appropriate.” Currently fights about telling the truth, Critical Race Theory, CRT, not really taught, yet the subject of disagreement at school board meetings. Onward. We can’t ignore that public education is a foundation of our democracy.

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Jan 7, 2022·edited Jan 7, 2022

We've been trying to do democracy "on the cheap" for a long time now, and we're seeing the consequences. Some other countries treat their public teachers as valued professionals who are paid commensurate to their education and responsibilities. We leave our public teachers to crowdsource funding for teaching supplies or pay for them out of their own, meager salaries. (How many of us saw that video of a scrum of grade school teachers fighting each other for dollar bills for their classrooms on the floor of a basketball court during a break in the game as entertainment for the crowd? That's the America we've built.)

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I think it is vital right now. There are millions of people who will suffer greatly under a Dictatorship. And they are being fleeced and deceived by former guy. I firmly believe a national education program touring Cities will make a difference.

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I would include a targeted social media campaign with outreach. It's got to become "not cool" to support the big lie...it's got to be understood as anti-American.

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Yes indeed. Meanwhile this is more a public relations program aimed at "educating" the public on the realities of living in a Democracy vs. a Dictatorship. Food, transportation, medicine. For example how long are the food lines? Can people get medicine? etc.

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Yes I have been thinking that too - I met a Russian immigrant in the library right before the pandemic started and he told me that he and his family had won the "Golden Ticket" - he explained only a certain few people are allowed to leave Russia for the USA and he was thrilled to get to come with his wife and son who was in high school. I don't know his name but I wish he could write an article about the differences they have found living here these last 3 years --it would be very powerful reading or better yet on the TV news show.

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Thank you, Barbara! As a retired teacher, I think your idea is "spot on" (I hope my commas are right, Oxford or otherwise. ) for the reason you mention -- most people don't realize how different our lives would be under authoritarian rule.

Please let us know what you hear back from the Lincoln Project.

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Jan 7, 2022·edited Jan 7, 2022

League of Women Voters?!

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Not a bad idea as long as we can keep it apolitical. I was hoping for an Educational/nonprofit organization.

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See my reply above

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I thought I saw something about the production of videos, but it is disappeared at present. Viral tictocs would be very cool, but closer to the election?

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Why not start drafting it here in these comments?

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Good idea. We have three categories suggested by Barbara -- food, healthcare and prices (presumably for consumer goods). What are three more key categories? Policing? Freedom of the press (too abstract?) Freedom of speech (what happens to you if you criticize the President or even a local official in a dictatorship vs a Democracy?) For each category, what are three key differences? Make those examples very concrete, something people will relate to their own lives.

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Add in freedom of movement. ie reprisals, indoctrination and fear based living. Also the infrastructure crumbles without adequate funding. The Republicans did not support the Infrastructure Plan. What happens when the baby is sick.

Identify the issue:

1. Healthcare

2. Life without any care

etc

Constant compare/contrast.

Lots of research. What is life like under Belasario or in Hungry, in Russia?

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See my reply above

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so, what do you need to make videos?

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I already have.

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"We were created to get out from under monarchy."

And then show a photo of Charles and Camilla. Do we REALLY want this again?

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Too many are Anglophiles and would.

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Just a good-hearted quibble: while perhaps not an “Anglophile”, I am proud of my British heritage. I am proud of the contributions to Constitutional law, the arts, and the thousand years of honing those gifts.

I am not proud of their corporate contributions, expanded and empowered by their American cousins, nor am I proud of their feudal pretensions; mirrored in this country by our celebrity worship and created through media manipulation.

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And you should be proud. I didn't express myself well. Royalists would have been better for what I was trying to say.

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P.S. I am not a troll, just an observer. I thank both of you for your comments.

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People do not understand the difference between Communism and Socialism, and indeed, they are unaware of what Socialism really is.

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Not the point of the program. Whether it is fascism, communism or whatever repressive regime is running a Country the average citizen suffers greatly in trying to live a quality, sustainable life.

Once again I am talking the nuts and bolts of the kitchen table lives people live. Doesn't matter the label or the politics. Here is what your life looks like now as opposed to the future.

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Not questioning your idea, just making an observation. Good luck on your intents.

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Oh ok. Thanks. So darn hard to tell in a commenters forum.

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I have friends here in Spain whose fathers were imprisoned by Franco. I love this idea. We could create an organization from those of us who wish to take it on. My email is gaileegailee@gmail.com. I can produce videos.

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That could be very powerful. Is it possible for you to shoot a short interview as a demonstration ?

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I will see if Mikel can talk about his father. Also another friend was not allowed to use her Basque name during that period. We sold all of our camera and editing equipment before moving here, so it would probably be with my phone, although Mikel was a camera operator for USPN in NY and has friends here who are in the business.

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I'm going to e mail you

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Yes, do contact The Lincoln Project with this great idea! As TCinLA said in his recent Another Fine Mess column, in November we will be voting for Democracy or Not Democracy.

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I sent them an outline this morning. I have been a longtime early supporter of them so maybe they will notice.

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Hey, Barbara. Also, explaining what "tax cuts" really means, robbing Peter to pay Paul maybe?

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Staying with the kitchen table issues. How are the wealthy elite living in a Dictatorship and how are the workers living?

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I think the workers believe the wealthy elite when they are told if they will just work hard enough they can be wealthy too. This is why they vote for people who expect to be served instead of those willing to serve. They want to be like the wealthy and truly believe hard work will get them there.

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I know! I don't understand that.

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Barbara, have you also contacted the office of the U.S. Secretary of Education? The website describes a Constitution Day, September 17, which would be perfect for launching such an initiative as you describe. It states, "This posting is intended to remind affected educational institutions of this responsibility and to provide resources for them to use in developing their program." Every educational institution receiving federal funds is obligated to provide a program on the constitution!

https://www2.ed.gov/policy/fund/guid/constitutionday.html

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Yesterday was also the beginning of the uprising in Kazakistan to overthrow their kleptocratic dictator being propped up by Putin. Putin’s response was to send in the Russian military to Kazakistan, a country on Russia’s East at the same time as he has been massing troops to the west of Russia to prop up the dictatorship in Belarus and to try and reinstate the dictatorship in the Ukraine.

Meanwhile footage of burning government buildings and reports of dozens or hundreds killed in Kazakistan.

There is a direct line from the dictatorships supported by Putin in Belarus, in The Ukraine, in Kazakistan and the GOP under TFG.

If America does not protect its democracy now by voting, then the burning government buildings and masses shot in the streets will be the price of trying to reclaim democracy.

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I have a friend trapped in Kazakhstan. His wife (a former bandmate of mine, and a retired English teacher who has been teaching in China since her retirement a few years ago) had her flight there cancelled, and is still in the states with family. John is hunkered down, waiting for the "all clear".

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May everyone who wishes to get home be able to do so. I also have a friend teaching music at an international school in China for the past 2.5 years, mostly during lockdowns. I hope he can come home when he wants to.

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Ally, 🤞🏻🤞🏻🤞🏻For your friend John.

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🙏🏻

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Christian Z, I learned this morning there is now a “shoot to kill” authorization.

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Horrible and horrifying. :’-(

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Even if every Democrat votes, will it be enough to offset the gerrymandering and voter suppression going on? I'm hoping that a coalition of Dems, Repubs, and Independents will make it so.

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In his Jan. 6 post, Timothy Snyder describes in broad strokes what could happen if Trump is installed as president despite losing the election. Buckle up:

"The precise scenario of the collapse of the United States is impossible to predict, but some of the following is likely to happen, and quickly.

"Tens of millions of people protest. Paramilitaries on both sides emerge. Violence leads to fake and real stories of deaths, and to revenge. Police and armed forces will know neither whom they should obey nor whom they should arrest. With traditional authority broken, those wearing uniforms and bearing arms will become partisans, take sides, and start shooting one another. Governors will look for exit strategies for their states. Americans will rush to parts of the disintegrating country they find safer, in a process that looks increasingly like ethnic cleansing. The stock market and then the economy will crash. The dollar will cease to be the world currency."

https://snyder.substack.com/p/a-dream-of-power-an-awakening-to

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I recall an account published a few months ago in the NYTimes by a Uighur man who had just barely gotten himself and his family out China before he was sent, again, to one of their "reeducation camps." He said that at one point, everyone in his household was summarily ordered to report immediately to the police station for a long, drawn out, photography session. In that session, the Uighurs were made to stand before an unusual looking camera and have their video image taken as they looked up, down, side-to-side, from behind, and how they walked.

The purpose, of course, was to enter them into a facial recognition database so that they could be tracked anywhere in the world. Afterward, they were allowed to go home, knowing that everytime they used their cellphones, went to a public place, or even went outside and looked at the sky, the Chinese police could find them. (And we might want to speculate briefly on the possible research directions a government unfettered by notions of civil rights and accountability might take regarding weapons, biological systems, and surveillance technologies.)

Is this a true story? The Chinese government denies it. But that's what its like to live in an autocracy.

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Agreed. Frightening. But people do not believe that could happen to them. Here. In the United States of America.

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I have a younger brother and sister and three millennial aged nephews, so this anecdotal observation hardly makes me at all qualified from a professional psychological vantage , but here goes.

Their responses range from “I don’t do politics.” to a genuine lack of concern. My sister is a diehard Trumper/QAnon to the hilt supporter and boy does she care…

I am also a firm believer in the work of Dr. Bandi X. Lee, who had the courage to lead a team of peers that wrote “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump.” Ultimately she sacrificed her teaching post at Yale for daring to submit to the BS edict of the American Psychology Association over the so called “Goldwater Rule.” as opposed to the safety of Democracy.

The feeling of helplessness among Millennials and “Z” generations is completely understandable as they face a life of peonage over student debt, rental prices that insure the will never own a home and dead end careers save the dream of becoming an “influencer.”

I might engage you in a bit of Frank Lutz “focus group” here; What sounds worse: autocracy or fascism? I ask because it is astounding how many Americans have a hard time excepting Fascism as our collective future reality.

Well future generations, I’m here to suggest you better get used to and over it, because in 2024 Democracy will be a “quaint” memory of the past.

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On election day in 2018 I gave my standard charge to the students in my classes. "It's election day. Be sure to vote. If you don't you forfeit your right to criticize." I think they were a bit unsure about having a reason to vote, but that year, after the surprising result of 2016, many seemed startled and then they nodded and smiled.

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True-true. Here's your brain on democracy. Here's your life in autocracy. Here's how your vote and the votes and voices of your friends matter. Here is how one could alleviate anxiety by taking action. Elevate the leaders of your generation; find the diplomats and statespeople and recruit them to represent you.

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Another letter that passes easily (cleverly, subversively, revealingly -- choose your adverb) through the line between history and journalism.

For those readers who would like to participate in nominating Prof Richardson for a Pulitzer Prize in Journalism, we will need 15 samples from the year. Since yesterday, readers have proposed 7.

Thank you. They would all be useful in helping to give the jurors a sense of the quality and power of her writing. We could use more from the spring and summer.

Anyone interested in participating in this effort to broaden and strengthen Prof Richardson's audience is welcome to recommend others that might be included in a submission. No need to review all 365 of her letters for 2021. Just suggest one that was particularly moving, insightful, or personally relevant and I'll add it to the bundle, to be siftted through next week.

As several of you noted, she sometimes posts a photo of her harbor or sky at home with a brief comment. One of those that helped see you through to her next letter might be a good addition to the bundle.

Our deadline for submission is now just over two weeks away.

Thanks, too, to those who suggested that a journalism prize competition might not be the most appropriate for someone who regards herself as an historian. Others posted that she could certainly be (and is) both a historian and a journalist. Fortunately, for this most famous of literary prizes (other than the Nobel), there is a history category, historically (apologies) reserved for books. That category closed for entries in October. If unsuccessful with our journalism application, we can always try again later this year in the history section.

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Excellent idea. I subscribe to her Letters and watch her vids. And I’m not American. From all the way down under in Australia. she is educating and informing us who have been bewildered as to how America came to this pivot point and giving us insights into the foundational myths that have proven to be somewhat shaky.

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Jan 7, 2022·edited Jan 7, 2022

Canadians are benefitting as well, and most grateful to HCR for her daily letters.

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Nothing prevents Canadians or Australians from suggesting a letter to be included in a Pulitzer entry. First half of 2021 would be helpful, if you have a favorite.

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Thank you for letting all of us know that.

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Thanks for the opportunity, Albert. Hard to pick just one Letter. To me, they're all pure gold.

https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/december-1-2021/comments

https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/november-30-2021/comments

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Unfortunately, the jurors (volunteer journalists) won't have time to review all 365. We have to do some sifting for them.

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Are you suggesting November 30 and December 1?

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Albert, I see you need some from earlier in 2021. Here is her Letter from the day after January 6, 2021. It, to my mind, is written in journalistic terms: https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/january-6-2021/comments

Since you have many from later in the year, I will rescind my two submissions from November 30 and December 1. Thank you!

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Albert,

https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/january-1-2022

I know this was recent, but, this one article shows her power of blending History with Today.

That blending, which she routinely does with apparent ease? THAT is Nobel Prize stuff.

I hope nobody already nominated it. If so, let me know and I will go find another example like this.

But, this particular letter, I feel, is a sterling example of what she brings to the world's table.

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Yes! This clearer unpacking is a necessary read.

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Mike, thank you, but the calendar year is the strict limit. We can save that one for a history prize entry. We're heavy on the second half of the year now. Particularly need letters from January, February, March and June. Any suggestions?

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Also, Albert, let me know if I can support in any other way as well.

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Without a doubt in my mind or pen, today’s letter.

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Thank you, but only calendar year 2021 is eligible.

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Ok. Then I will go ahead and submit that one for her nomination of 2022 for a guidepost warrior of history.

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Good idea. Entry for 2022 opens on 1 January 2023.

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Jan 7, 2022·edited Jan 7, 2022

September 5, 2021, about Frances Perkins. It ends with “Happy Labor Day.”

Also March 14, 2021, (appeared March 15–“Beware the adze of March”) about Maine statehood, the Missouri Compromise, and the Republican party.

I don’t know how to send the links — sorry.

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Peggy, I totally agree. If I could only pick one I would pick the one about Frances Perkins.

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It was so great! (They’re all so great. Unbelievable.)

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I remember being particularly moved by this one.

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Yes! With thanks to HCR, Francis Perkins is a hero!

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A major American She-ro! Thank you, HCR, for teaching us all!

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A “she-ro” - I like it!

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Albert, I took a look back, bearing in mind your request for letters from the first half of the year. It was fascinating just to look at the letters' titles from a year ago - we forget so much in such a short time! Here are mine:

Photo: 6/18/2021 https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/june-18-2021

This is what Heather said about that photo: "I took this photo a year ago today, when Trump was still president, the pandemic was still new, and I was just becoming acclimated to isolation. It seems to me that, completely by accident, my camera caught the brittle fragility of that terrifying moment." She did capture that.

1/5/2021 https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/january-5-2021

This letter was not a recap of the news, per se, but an explanation of, and a call to defend, our democratic principles. It is especially poignant to me because of what happened the following day, on January 6, 2021.

1/20/2021 https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/january-20-2021

This letter covers the inauguration with a focus on Amanda Gorman's beautiful words. This day looms especially large for me, as it was such a day of hope with Biden's inauguration, but was also personally catastrophic, as it was the day I was diagnosed with cancer.

3/7/2021 https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/march-7-2021

This letter covers the history of the civil rights movement, elegantly tying that to today's struggle for voting rights, and ends beautifully with John Lewis' “Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.”

6/1/2021 https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/june-1-2021

In this letter, Dr. Richardson taught us about the Tulsa Massacre, and tied that event, again, to the struggle for voting rights.

I see two themes across the letters which resonated the most to me: letters which teach us about democracy and the daily work necessary to keep it, particularly with reference to race and voting rights, and letters which provide us with a message of hope during turbulent, frightening times both politically and in terms of the pandemic. Dr. Richardson's letters, as well as this community here, have provided me with that desperately needed hope.

Thank you for doing this, please let me know if I can help further!

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Kathy, a terrific packet. Thank you. That fills in the gaps very nicely. I have a few nominations from different readers for the same letter, but for the most part they are neatly spread out through the year.

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Thank YOU, dear Kathy, for diligently revisiting the letters and culling out such a stellar sample💙!

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It was truly worthwhile! It’s so stinking cold here, I stayed home today and procrastinated on housework because this was more fun. Thanks, Ashley.

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Jan 8, 2022·edited Jan 8, 2022

Happy New Year, Kathy! Awesome review!

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Happy New Year, Christine! Here’s to a better 2022!

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Thank you Kathy - and may you be delivered and restored. 🙏🏻

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Thank you! I am doing really well - it was an awful year to be sure, but I am now 6 months out from treatment with no evidence of disease. I feel just so lucky. I had a very poor prognosis with a Stage 3 cancer, so to be where I am feels like an incredible gift. The awful year also held great joy - our two sons both graduated college, and our daughter married a wonderful guy, and I was well enough to enjoy it all.

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We’re pleased and relieved that what was wrong was righted. Congratulations to you, your sons, your daughter and her wonderful guy!

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Jan 7, 2022·edited Jan 7, 2022

The letter of January 16, 2021 is a good candidate, I think. It’s an excellent recounting of how “socialism” came to be so inappropriately understood in our politics. https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/january-16-2021

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My first read of this. Wonderful candidate!

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August 5th & 6th, which should be read as one Letter, July 10th and December 10th.

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Thanks Again, here are some suggestions from the first half of 2021:

1/6/21,

1/14/21(Movement Conservatism),

1/20/21,

3/7/21,

3/14/21,

3/15/21,

3/25/21 (There is only one story...)

4/8/21 (Ulysses Grant),

4/22/21,

5/23/21 (Frederick Douglass).

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