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Ear to the Ground

Gabrielle Giffords’ Favorite Quote

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Posted on Jan 8, 2011
Photo from Rep. Giffords' Facebook page

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head Saturday, on Facebook lists her favorite quote as this line from Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address: “With malice toward none, with charity for all, ... let us strive on to finish the work we are in, ... to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

Sadly relevant given the day’s events, and the fate of the author of those moving words.

The full text of Lincoln’s speech can be read here.

The full quote, which Giffords condensed for her page, is:

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

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By murmur55, January 10, 2011 at 8:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Completely lovely woman; what a loss for the country.

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Gulam's avatar

By Gulam, January 10, 2011 at 7:46 pm Link to this comment

Many American Democrats are now saying, after a decade of bloodshed, that
the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were probably a mistake, and, yes the
American destruction of Southeast Asia was wrong, but the Civil War - that was
a grand crusade, a holy cause, the successful outcome of which should cause
American breasts to swell with pride. Never mind that the black man in America
is in prison in vast numbers and out of work; white yankees provided him with
a great victory. The point is not that these wars, these crusades for freedom in
Iraq and Afghanistan are a mistake, not really the necessary moral ventures that
they were cracked up to be; the point it that the United States and her little
European camp followers have no right to pass judgment on others and to again
and again invade and dominate other lands that are none of their business. This
is colonialism, pure and simple. The Civil War set the precedent for all of these
other ventures and it laid out the logical arguments, and until the self-
righteous liberals stop paying constant lip service to all this long-outdated
Napoleonic freedom rhetoric and the moral necessity of the Civil War, they will
continue to support those who devise lucrative war plans. With their help the
US will keep on raping poor countries, destroying their sustainable cultures,
and it will continue to free people around the world from all of the cultural and
religious discipline that sustains them.

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By rico, suave, January 10, 2011 at 7:30 pm Link to this comment

Gulam:

Well put. Can you imagine the gall of Peetawonkus- excusing the US government for invading a country to tell it how to run its own affairs? Shocking. Just because they had slavery (read- oppression of women, genocide on a massive scale, religious intolerance, etc in today’s dispensation) is NO excuse to invade. It’s none of our business. We should not have been such hegemonic imperialistic bullies back in 1860. Lincoln was a precursor of Hitler I say! No, worse! George Bush! No, Cheney!!! Sorry, the Tourettes is kicking in.

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By Gulam, January 10, 2011 at 6:40 pm Link to this comment

I am not at all claiming the moral high ground for the South. Slavery was very
wrong, but sending in hundreds of thousands of soldiers into someone else’s
states on the assumption that the USA is a moral exemplar was an even greater
wrong than the whole of slavery, because it taught Americans that they can get
rich, invade others and take their property, rape their women and destroy their
culture and still be morally OK. It set a pattern that has been followed again and
again from Sante Fe, to Manila, to Saigon, Baghdad, and Kabul.

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By Peetawonkus, January 10, 2011 at 4:31 pm Link to this comment

Gulam
You must be posting from that alternate universe, the fictional one where the poor slave owners are oppressed by ideas of freedom? The one where the Germans are the good guys in WWII? Oh, wait. That is the South. As Faulkner said, leaching its poison into the rest of the country.

I like the alternate universe where Lincoln survived and had the slave owners of the South hung for treason, instead of the blanket pardon they got.

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By godistwaddle, January 9, 2011 at 8:02 am Link to this comment

Regarding the congressperson’s shooting,I think we
can all agree that Rupert Murdoch, Roger Ailes, Glenn
Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner,
Eric Cantor, Peter King, Larry Summers, Tim Geithner,
perhaps even Obama,  Wall Street and other
conservatives are doing the “Happy Dance Circle Jerk”
over this, eh?
When the Barlow strikers threatened the plutocrat, he
had them shot.  Homestead, Haymarket….  The rich know
how to get it done, and the rest of us grab our
ankles.

And the south should have been allowed to secede. 
Why murder 600,000 to keep a bunch of redneck jerks
in the Union?  Slavery would have been gone soon,
anyway.

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RayLan's avatar

By RayLan, January 9, 2011 at 12:27 am Link to this comment

How do we protect ourselves from the enemy within? that is the real terrorism - expensive stupid wars notwithstanding.

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By SJ Cipolla, January 8, 2011 at 9:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Frequently forgotten are the words Lincoln spoke immediately before these words.  Lincoln’s eloquence was not limited to his dedication to peace and justice, he clearly understood, at least in 1864, that it might be necessary for the war to go on much longer in order to expunge slavery from this country. Here are the two sentences that precede the Congresswoman’s favorite quote:


Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”

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By Gulam, January 8, 2011 at 9:06 pm Link to this comment

“with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to
finish the work we are in”

The work that they were in was a long, brutal war involving hundreds of
thousands of deaths which Mr. Lincoln chose to pursue. As long as you keep
glorifying the invasion, rape, and domination of the South by the self-
appointed armies of God from the North, then do not wonder when Americans
keep playing that same highly profitable game over and over and over. The
same Napoleonic ego trip, the same Enlightenment freedom jargon is buffed
into shape and wheeled out again for use every decade or two, and Union
armies go off once more to tramp out the vintage, which is blood. Every few
years America is off again using liberation as a stalking horse for pillage and
domination. At the present time Americans claim to be liberating Afghan
women and bringing democracy to Iraq.

This kind of liberal worship of Lincoln is even more at the heart of American
aggression than the right wing nuts and the generals. The South provides more
than its share of ignorant young people for today’s American armies, but it is
the soul killers at Harvard, Yale, and Columbia who provide the expertise,
financial connections, and the intellectual justification for mass murder. It is
indeed sad when Southerners get into waving the Confederate flag about, but
we still see massive monuments and statues to the fools who died in the War of
Yankee Aggression on nearly every New England town green. If you did not
react negatively to the use of LIncoln’s purple prose in this article then you are
part of the reason we just destroyed Iraq and are still leading the gang rape of
Afghanistan.

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By John Uebersax, January 8, 2011 at 8:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Does not “charity towards all” include towards the mentally ill person who did the shooting?  And towards members of the Tea Party?  Where is the charity in jumping to conclusions before any firm details have emerged?

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By rico, suave, January 8, 2011 at 6:31 pm Link to this comment

Sad indeed. A fringe Tea Party fruitloop I’m afraid. Another spoiled slacker with too much time on his hands. And, Ortiz, the answer is, too many more.

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By gerard, January 8, 2011 at 6:25 pm Link to this comment

Another sad day of senseless violence.

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By Aaron Ortiz, January 8, 2011 at 5:52 pm Link to this comment

How horrific. I hope ms. Giffords recovers fully.

Jared Loughner has been arrested in connection with the shooting.
He seems to be a loner with disjointed and paradoxical thoughts. For instance, he
lists both the Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf as favorite books.

This is his Youtube profile:

http://www.youtube.com/user/Classitup10

How many more Loughners are there in the US?

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