Francesco Petrarch: "The Ascent of Mount Ventoux," The Renaissance Philosophy of Man, eds. E. Cassirer et al. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1948), pp. 36-46.
To Dionigi da Borgo San Sepolcro, of the Order of Saint Augustine, Professor of Theology, about his own troubles.
Today I ascended the highest mountain in this region, which, not without cause, they call the Windy Peak. Nothing but the desire to see its conspicuous height was the reason for this undertaking. For many years I have been intending to make this expedition. You know that since my early childhood, as fate tossed around human affairs, I have been tossed around in these parts, and this mountain, visible far and wide from everywhere, is always in your view. So I was at last seized by the impulse to accomplish what I had always wanted to do. It happened while I was reading Roman history again in Livy that I hit upon the passage where Philip, the king of Macedon - the Philip who waged war against the Roman people - "ascends Mount Haemus in Thessaly, since he believed the rumor that you can see two seas from its top: the Adriatic and the Black Sea." Whether he was right or wrong I cannot make out because the mountain is far from our region, and the disagreement among authors renders the matter uncertain. I do not intend to consult all of them: the cosmographer Pomponius Mela does not hesitate to report the fact as true; Livy supposes the rumor to be false. I would not leave it long in doubt if that mountain were as easy to explore as the one here. At any rate, I had better let it go, in order to come back to the mountain I mentioned at first. It seemed to me that a young man who holds no public office might be excused for doing what an old king is not blamed for.
I now began to think over whom to choose as a companion. It will sound strange to you that hardly a single one of all my friends seemed to me suitable in every respect, so rare a thing is absolute congeniality in every attitude and habit even among dear friends. One was too sluggish, the other too vivacious; one too slow, the other too quick; this one too gloomy of temper, that one too gay. One was duller, the other brighter than I should have liked. This man's taciturnity, that man's flippancy; the heavy weight and obesity of the next, the thinness and weakness of still another were reasons to deter me. The cool lack of curiosity of one, like another's too eager interest, dissuaded me from choosing either. All such qualities, however difficult they are to bear, can be borne at home: loving friendship is able to endure everything; it refuses no burden. But on a journey they become intolerable. Thus my delicate mind, craving honest entertainment, looked about carefully, weighing every detail with no offense to friendship. Tacitly it rejected whatever it could foresee would become troublesome on the projected excursion. What do you think I did? At last I applied for help at home and revealed my plan to my only brother, who is younger than I and whom you know well enough. He could hear of nothing he would have liked better and was happy to fill the place of friend as well as brother.
We left home on the appointed day and arrived at Malaucène at night. This is a place at the northern foot of the mountain.
We spent a day there and began our ascent this morning, each of us accompanied by a single servant. From the start we encountered a good deal of trouble, for the mountain is a steep and almost inaccessible pile of rocky material. However, what the Poet says is appropriate: "Ruthless striving overcomes everything." [Vergil: Georgica i. 145-46; Macrobius, Saturnalia v. 6.]
By PATRICIA COHEN
Published: December 27, 2011
TULSA, Okla. Oklahoma has always had a troubled relationship with her native son Woody Guthrie. The communist sympathies of Americas balladeer infuriated local detractors. In 1999 a wealthy donors objections forced the Cowboy Museum in Oklahoma City to cancel a planned exhibition on Guthrie organized by the Smithsonian Institution. It wasnt until 2006, nearly four decades after his death, that the Oklahoma Hall of Fame got around to adding him to its ranks.
But as places from California to the New York island get ready to celebrate the centennial of Guthries birth, in 2012, Oklahoma is finally ready to welcome him home. The George Kaiser Family Foundation in Tulsa plans to announce this week that it is buying the Guthrie archives from his children and building an exhibition and study center to honor his legacy.
Oklahoma was like his mother, said his daughter Nora Guthrie, throwing back her tangle of gray curls as she reached out in an embrace. Now hes back in his mothers arms.
The archive includes the astonishing creative output of Guthrie during his 55 years. There are scores of notebooks and diaries written in his precise handwriting and illustrated with cartoons, watercolors, stickers and clippings; hundreds of letters; 581 artworks; a half-dozen scrapbooks; unpublished short stories, novels and essays; as well as the lyrics to the 3,000 or more songs he scribbled on scraps of paper, gift wrap, napkins, paper bags and place mats. Much of the material has rarely or never been seen in public, including the lyrics to most of the songs. Guthrie could not write musical notation, so the melodies have been lost.
Warning: The ending is crude.
Thanks MineralMan for introducing to me to: http://www.xtranormal.com/
By Nate Beeler, The Washington Examiner - 12/30/2011
By Jimmy Margulies, The Record of Hackensack, NJ - 12/30/2011
By Milt Priggee, www.miltpriggee.com - 12/30/2011
By Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune - 12/30/2011 - "Goodbye 2011"
By John Cole, The Scranton Times-Tribune - 12/30/2011 - I learned something new, Father Time has a scythe.
By Dave Granlund, Politicalcartoons.com - 12/30/2011
By Rob Tornoe, The Press of Atlantic City - 12/30/2011
By Bill Day, Cagle Cartoons - 12/30/2011
By Taylor Jones, Politicalcartoons.com - 12/29/2011
By Olle Johansson, Sweden - 12/30/2011
By Jeremy Nell, The New Age, South Africa - 12/30/2011
By Chan Lowe, December 30, 2011
By Jim Morin, 12/28/11
By Jim Morin, 12/30/11
By Jeff Danziger, December 26, 2011 - His cartoons are lagging in availability.
By Ted Rall, December 30, 2011
By Drew Sheneman, December 29, 2011
By Tom Toles, December 30, 2011
If you missed any days, all previous posts can be found in my journal. Party safe, party hard, try to laugh, it's been a long year. -Happy New Year!
December 29, 2011, 9:10 PM EST
By Peter Robison and John Crewdson
Dec. 29 (Bloomberg) -- A toaster that burns the National Rifle Associations logo onto bread fetched $650 at an auction last month, just one reflection of the money-making power in the gun groups brand.
The NRA, which began as a grassroots organization dedicated to teaching marksmanship, enters the 2012 election season as a lobbying, merchandising and marketing machine that brings in more than $200 million a year and intends to help unseat the incumbent president. From 2004 to 2010, the groups revenue from fundraising -- including gifts from gun makers who benefit from its political activism -- grew twice as fast as its income from members dues, according to NRA tax returns.
More than 50 firearms-related companies have given at least $14.8 million to the Fairfax, Virginia-based group, according to the NRAs own list for a donor program that began in 2005. That same year, NRA lobbyists helped win passage of a federal law that limited liability claims against gun makers. Former NRA President Sandy Froman wrote that it saved the American gun industry from bankruptcy.
That didnt stop NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre from citing what he called a massive Obama conspiracy to deceive voters and hide his true intentions to destroy the Second Amendment in our country during a September speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando. LaPierre said the NRA would work to defeat Obama in 2012.
Do you agree or disagree with NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre's allegation against President Obama?
By Tim Eagan, Deep Cover - 12/29/2011
By Bill Day, Cagle Cartoons - 12/29/2011
By Joe Heller, Green Bay Press-Gazette - 12/29/2011
By Jimmy Margulies, The Record of Hackensack, NJ - 12/29/2011
By Randall Enos, Cagle Cartoons - 12/29/2011
By Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle - 12/29/2011
By Rainer Hachfeld, Neues Deutschland, Germany - 12/29/2011
By Pat Oliphant, December 29, 2011 - I think this is the third Newt "returns" cartoon of the month.
By Stuart Carlson, December 29, 2011
By Matt Davies, December 28, 2011
By Ben Sargent, December 29, 2011 - "Abortion Hysteria"
By Sorensen, Slowpoke - 12/28/2011 12:00:00 AM
By Jimmy Margulies, The Record of Hackensack, NJ - 12/28/2011
By Joe Heller, Green Bay Press-Gazette - 12/28/2011
By Keefe, The Denver Post - 12/28/2011
By David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star - 12/28/2011
By Luojie, China Daily, China - 12/27/2011
By Clay Bennett, December 28, 2011
By Mike Luckovich, December 27, 2011
By Mike Luckovich, December 28, 2011
By Steve Benson, December 28, 2011
By Drew Sheneman, December 27, 2011
Retired U.S. Supreme Court justice helped initiate an online program called iCivics because not enough Americans know how government works.
By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
December 27, 2011
Only about a third of American adults can name all three branches of government, and a third can't name any. Fewer than a third of eighth graders could identify the historical purpose of the Declaration of Independence.
This slim knowledge of civics and the potential risk it poses to American democracy captured the attention of retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.
O'Connor launched the effort that became iCivics in 2006, the year she retired from the court. It initially focused on the judicial branch alone, but "it became apparent pretty quickly it was needed across the board," she said.
"It's very disturbing," said O'Connor, 81, the first woman to serve on the nation's highest court. "I want to educate several generations of young people so we won't have the lack of public knowledge we have today."
I think we need to redo the entire educational system and put civics/ethics/history on par with math and the three R's...it's an outrage that new citizens are frankly better educated in this subject than the majority of American citizens. I often run across people who put on the pretense of knowing the issues, but in actuality have very little idea how the government actually works beyond perhaps some sloganeering (Tea Party, Ron Paul people, I'm looking at you), and it's frightening how self-assured they can be. I think the propagation of general hostility towards the political superstructure of this country doesn't help; it just seems to make people more pessimistic and self-assured in their prejudice. What behaviors do you see this ignorance expressing itself in?
Teachers what do you think? Why are we failing so badly? How does this influence American life? How can we change the trend?
For the record, the three branches of government are the Legislative, the Executive, and the Judicial.
By Taylor Jones, El Nuevo Dia, Puerto Rico - 12/27/2011
By Joe Heller, Green Bay Press-Gazette - 12/27/2011
By Milt Priggee, www.miltpriggee.com - 12/27/2011
By Milt Priggee, www.miltpriggee.com - 12/27/2011
By Milt Priggee, www.miltpriggee.com - 12/27/2011
By Brian Fairrington, Cagle Cartoons - 12/27/2011
By Ted Rall, December 28, 2011
By Pat Oliphant, December 28, 2011
By Stuart Carlson, December 27, 2011
By Ben Sargent, December 28, 2011
Syrians in Tripoli, Libya's capital, wave Syria's old flag during a demonstration to call for President Bashar Assad's ouster. (Mahmud Turkia / AFP/Getty Images / December 9, 2011)
Thousands of Syrians have sought refuge in the Libyan city of Benghazi. They arrive by bus daily in the city, which is still recovering from Libya's civil war.
By Ruth Sherlock, Los Angeles Times
December 26, 2011, 5:46 p.m.
Reporting from Benghazi, Libya
Even as it recovers from its recent civil war, Libya is fast becoming a place of sanctuary for thousands of refugees fleeing the bloodshed in Syria.
Buses from Damascus, crammed with Syrian families, are arriving daily in the eastern city of Benghazi, the cradle of the effort to oust the late Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi.
"Up to 4,000 Syrian families have sought refuge in Libya in the last weeks, and the numbers are increasing every day," said Mohammed Jammal, a Syrian community leader in the city. "The buses arrive full and go back empty. There used to be two a week, but now there are two a day."
Crammed full with families and young men, the buses pull into the station at all times of the night after a grueling 41/2-day trip, crossing first into Jordan, then across the Suez Canal, through Egypt and down the long road to Benghazi.
The Rats of Libya Salute the Germs of Syria!
Profile InformationName: Zachary Ellison
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