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Leaving the place better than we found it
Seeing with my eyes closed
Thomas Jefferson on gun control
How to lie convincingly
Our hardy heartland
Breaking the cycle
How to catch the sun's comings and goings
Thoughts from the inside
Leveraging the internet to build our walls
Twitters from the past
And the invincibility of youth
Without ego projection
Yet another gift of the road
The charming side of obstinance
The creative part of photography
A movie critic looks in the mirror
We are not alone
As part of the system
Defecting from the rear guard
The end of Kumbaya
The wanderer's poet
Running out of dirt
Striking a balance
The Bay of Fundy, where the sea breathes
How to photograph them with anything, even your cellphone
A simple question we get every day
We may be failing to fail
And why no one should hesitate to examine them
Becoming a hero in one's own life story
A writing assignment
A new discovery of something old
Finding new eyes to see old landscapes
Hick humor
Toys for photographing wild places
Experiencing life with God
A radical thought about our radicals
Redemption with style
You're on this page
Resetting our parallel processor
A village with heart
A lesson from the road
The bullet dodged
A soul sparkles
Isolation in style
Painless ways to lose your virginity : 11/12/15
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Hidden heroes among us

When my old-country Hungarian relatives get together, they tell me America is too young to have enough history to learn from, as do Europeans. My cheeky response is, "Americans had just one civil war, decided it was a bad idea, and haven't had another. How about you guys?"

So it is that I've taken to touring the Civil War sites, learning what I could first hand. One of the factoids of interest was Lincoln's proposal to avoid the Civil War.

Bear in mind that as a lawyer, Lincoln had also been an independent businessman. Notwithstanding all the lawyer jokes of today, a lawyer's calling then as now was often to be the compromiser between opposing rights.

That said, Lincoln went before Congress, speculating that a civil war could last months and cost close to $1 million/day in out-of-pocket expenses, much more if factoring in the devastation purchased for the $1 million/day.

"How about we use that money to buy up the slaves instead," he pitched, "set them free, and turn them into taxpayers?"

Importing more slaves had been illegal for many years, so this would have ended slavery. Plantation owners would have gotten bags of cash to keep from getting huffy about southern traditions, cash they would plow back into the economy.

Congress was quick to point out that such a war could never last a month nor cost that much. Years later, burning through $4 million/day ($200 million/day in today's dollars), they could've bought up all the South's slaves in 6 months.

Lincoln's pitch never found traction with politicians on a mission to compel others to their personal world views. Had Lincoln succeeded, he might have become a footnote in history, remembered for blowing through a boatload of money because he lacked the courage to fight for what was right.

Made me wonder if the world is perhaps full of secret compromisers and peacemakers we will never know because wars avoided do not sell newspapers. If we stumble upon them, we must help them.

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Spanish moss and blooming dogwood

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Philadelphia, the town of
Gene Hackman's "Mississippi Burning"

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Civil War Monument, Vicksburg

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Here brothers fought

For more pictures of Mississippi, click here.

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