Windham Life and Times – November 11, 2022

Farewell to the Republic

President Dwight Eisenhower’s Farewell Address, January 17, 1961

My fellow Americans:

Three days from now, after half a century in the service of our country, I shall lay down the responsibilities of office as, in traditional and solemn ceremony, the authority of the Presidency is vested in my successor.

This evening I come to you with a message of leave-taking and farewell, and to share a few final thoughts with you, my countrymen. Like every other citizen, I wish the new President, and all who will labor with him, Godspeed. I pray that the coming years will be blessed with peace and prosperity for all. Our people expect their President and the Congress to find essential agreement on issues of great moment, the wise resolution of which will better shape the future of the Nation…

 …We now stand ten years past the midpoint of a century that has witnessed four major wars among great nations. Three of these involved our own country. Despite these holocausts America is today the strongest, the most influential and most productive nation in the world. Understandably proud of this pre-eminence, we yet realize that America’s leadership and prestige depend, not merely upon our unmatched material progress, riches and military strength, but on how we use our power in the interests of world peace and human betterment.

      Throughout America’s adventure in free government, our basic purposes have been to keep the peace; to foster progress in human achievement, and to enhance liberty, dignity and integrity among people and among nations. To strive for less would be unworthy of a free and religious people. Any failure traceable to arrogance, or our lack of comprehension or readiness to sacrifice would inflict upon us grievous hurt both at home and abroad. Progress toward these noble goals is persistently threatened by the conflict now engulfing the world. It commands our whole attention, absorbs our very beings. We face a hostile ideology-global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insidious in method. Unhappily the danger it poses promises to be of indefinite duration. To meet it successfully, there is called for, not so much the emotional and transitory sacrifices of crisis, but rather those which enable us to carry forward steadily, surely, and without complaint the burdens of a prolonged and complex struggle-with liberty at stake. Only thus shall we remain, despite every provocation, on our charted course toward permanent peace and human betterment….

    …Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United State corporations. This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence-economic, political, even spiritual-is felt in every state house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together. Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades. In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government. Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been over shadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers. The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded. Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite. It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system-ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society.

   Another factor in maintaining balance involves the element of time. As we peer into society’s future, we-you and I, and our government-must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow…

You and I-my fellow citizens-need to be strong in our faith that all nations, under God, will reach the goal of peace with justice….We pray that peoples of all faiths, all races, all nations, may have their great human needs satisfied; that those now denied opportunity shall come to enjoy it to the full; that all who yearn for freedom may experience its spiritual blessings; that those who have freedom will understand, also, its heavy responsibilities; that all who are insensitive to the needs of others will learn charity; that the scourges of poverty, disease and ignorance will be made to disappear from the earth, and that, in the goodness of time, all peoples will come to live together in a peace guaranteed by the binding force of mutual respect and love

Windham Life and Time – November 4, 2022

Vote Tuesday – The Daisy Political Ad.

The Daisy Girl

    “The most famous of all campaign commercials, known as the ‘Daisy Girl’ ad, ran only once as a paid advertisement, during an NBC broadcast of “Monday Night at the Movies” on September 7, 1964. Without any explanatory words, the ad uses a simple and powerful cinematic device, juxtaposing a scene of a little girl happily picking petals off a flower (actually a black-eyed Susan), and an ominous countdown to a nuclear explosion. The ad was created by the innovative agency Doyle Dane Bernbach, known for its conceptual, minimal, and modern approach to advertising. The memorable soundtrack was created by Tony Schwartz, an advertising pioneer famous for his work with sound, including anthropological recordings of audio from cultures around the world. The frightening ad was instantly perceived as a portrayal of Barry Goldwater as an extremist. … The ad was replayed in its entirety on ABC’s and CBS’s nightly news shows, amplifying its impact.” The Living Room Candidate (Museum of Moving Image) Funny thing, that ad being run by Lyndon Johnson, the biggest war-monger in US history, selected as he was, by assassination, to ramp up the Viet Nam War. Always gaslighting and inversion…

     I lived through the time of “duck and cover” and the Cuban Missile Crisis. In spite of it all, I felt much safer in America then. Life went on and the rhetoric around nuclear war was toned down and efforts were made at “peaceful coexistence.” The fact that our current government has declared that America now has a “first strike” policy should be terrifying for everyone this election day, especially since our antiquated nuclear weapons have been out paced by the hypersonic missiles of Russia and China.

Windham Life and Times – September 30, 2022

A Cottage on Cobbett’s Pond-

Possible the Most Beautiful Old Cottage on Cobbett’s Pond

When we sold this property, it was owned by Esther Wheatley (Darymple), of North Andover, MA. It was simply a magnificent property on Cobbett’s Pond. The cottage was in the classic shingle style, with a wonderful porch, bay windows and a wide roof overhang. It had long lake frontage, massive old trees and a whimsical guest-house on the water.  With its 230 feet of frontage and nearly 3 acres of land it was one of the premier parcels of land on the lake. After the sale, the cottage burned to the ground in a fire. The guest-house is the only original structure that remains. I wonder what stories that old cottage could have told?

Windham Life and Times – September 2, 2022

Happy Labor Day George Baily’s Tribute to the Workingman

     Frank Capra must have been filled with the Holy Ghost because he was prophesizing about the time we are living in now through his movie: It’s a Wonderful Life. America and much of the western world has become one giant Potterville.

     Here is George Bailey’s famous speech from It’s A Wonderful Life (1946), in which he admonishes the greedy Mr. Potter, “You know how long it takes a workin’ man to save five thousand dollars? Just remember this, Mr. Potter, that this rabble you’re talking about, they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community…

    Potter: …and all because a few starry-eyed dreamers like Peter Bailey stir ’em up and fill their head with a lot of impossible ideas. Now, I say —         

     Bailey: Just a minute – just a minute. Now, hold on, Mr. Potter. Just a minute. Now, you’re right when you say my father was no business man. I know that. Why he ever started this cheap, penny-ante Building and Loan, I’ll never know. But neither you nor anybody else can say anything against his character, because his whole life was — Why, in the twenty-five years since he and Uncle Billy started this thing, he never once thought of himself. Isn’t that right, Uncle Billy? He didn’t save enough money to send Harry to school, let alone me. But he did help a few people get outta your slums, Mr. Potter. And what’s wrong with that? Why — here, you’re all businessmen here. Don’t it make them better citizens? Doesn’t it make them better customers? You, you said that they — What’d you say just a minute ago? They had to wait and save their money before they even thought of a decent home. Wait? Wait for what?! Until their children grow up and leave them? Until they’re so old and broken-down that — You know how long it takes a workin’ man to save five thousand dollars? Just remember this, Mr. Potter, that this rabble you’re talking about, they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community. Well, is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath? Anyway, my father didn’t think so. People were human beings to him, but to you, a warped, frustrated old man, they’re cattle. Well, in my book he died a much richer man than you’ll ever be.

     Potter: I’m not interested in your book. I’m talkin’ about the Building and Loan.

    Bailey: I know very well what you’re talking about. You’re talking about something you can’t get your fingers on, and it’s galling you. That’s what you’re talking about, I know. Well…I’ve said too much. I — You’re…the Board here. You do what you want with this thing. There’s just one thing more, though. This town needs this measly one-horse institution if only to have some place where people can come without crawling to Potter. Come on, Uncle Billy!

    Well the working men and women, will always receive my utmost respect, for the dignity of their hard work that makes my life so much better and whose skills often leave me in awe.