From John Brown's last speech:
Had I interfered in the manner which I admit...in behalf of the rich, the powerful, the intelligent, the so-called great, or in behalf of any of their friends, — either father, mother, brother, sister, wife, or children, or any of that class, — and suffered and sacrificed what I have in this interference, it would have been all right; and every man in this court would have deemed it an act worthy of reward rather than punishment.
This court acknowledges, as I suppose, the validity of the law of God. I see a book kissed here which I suppose to be the bible, or at least the New Testament. That teaches me that all thing whatsoever I would that men should do to me, I should do even so to them. It teaches me further, to “remember them that are in bonds as bound with them.” I endeavored to act upon that instruction. I say, I am yet too young to understand that God is any respecter of persons. I believe that to have interfered as I have done — as I have always freely admitted I have done — in behalf of his despised poor, was not wrong, but right. Now, if it is deemed necessary that I should forfeit my life for the furtherance of the ends of justice, and mingle my blood further with the blood of my children and with the blood of millions in this slave country whose rights are disregarded by wicked, cruel, and unjust enactments, — I submit; so let it be done!
Two major anniversaries for the US and for West Virginia is coming up this year. Oct. 16 marks the 150th year after Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry (then in Virginia) and Dec. 2 is the date of his execution. I've always been fascinated with Brown, who seems to me like a meteor hurled into a guilty land by God or karma. He seemed to have failed at every particular thing he attempted in life except the biggest and even that didn't turn out as planned.
At any rate, the Charleston Gazette reported yesterday about an online exhibit about Brown's life and death. A real one can be seen at the state capitol's cultural center. Here's a link to the web version, which is pretty substantial.
COUNTING COSTS. Here's the latest on the health care struggle in Congress, including a report on a cost analysis by the Congressional Budget Office.
WHO'S THE REAL PREDATOR? Here's an item on the current rhetoric of the health care reform debate.
A GOOD SCOLDING. WV Senator Robert Byrd opened a can on Massey Energy after the company said it would not contribute money to relocate Marsh Fork Elementary School which is near its massive coal silo and slurry impoundment.
VIOLENCE. According to a new study, American children are exposed to more of it than previously believed.
URGENT CANNIBALISTIC DINOSAUR UPDATE here.
SPEAKING OF FOOD, Here's Michael Pollan on rules to eat by (or should that be rules by which to eat?).
GOAT ROPE ADVISORY LEVEL: ELEVATED