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Woody is just Woody. Thousands of people do not know he has any other name. He is just a voice and a guitar. He sings the songs of a people and I suspect that he is, in a way, that people. Harsh voiced and nasal, his guitar hanging like a tire iron on a rusty rim, there is nothing sweet about Woody, and there is nothing sweet about the songs he sings. But there is something more important for those who will listen. There is the will of the people to endure and fight against oppression. I think we call this the American spirit.

 John SteinbeckAmerican writer who chronicled the plight of working class people.

…and here’s Woody

You can do what you want with me. That’s not important. But you’ll never conquer them, Fisher. Little people everywhere who give crumbs to birds. Lie to them, drive them, whip them, force them into war. When the beasts like you will devour each other, then the world will belong to the little people.

As a nation we began by declaring that all men are created equal. We now practically read it that all men are created equal, except negros. Soon, it will read all men are created equal except negros, and foreigners, and catholics. When it comes to this, I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty, to Russia for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.


Young Lincoln

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

"The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus, 1883

Lady Liberty

Perhaps most visionary of all, the 37th Congress provided for the world’s foremost system of widely available college education. Lincoln believed “that the very best, firmest, and most enduring basis of our republic was education, the thorough and universal education of the American people.” In signing Justin Morrill’s bill to use federal lands to endow state colleges and universities in the education of the farming and working classes, Lincoln endorsed the transformation of American society and unleashed a mighty engine of economic development. Some of the finest universities in the world - among them Cornell, the University of California-Berkeley, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, to say nothing of dozens more- grew out of that bill, with the result that many millions of Americans and students from around the globe would never have to say, as Lincoln did: That is what I have always regretted - the want of college education. Those who have it should thank God for it.

via Rise to Greatness: Abraham Lincoln and America’s Most Perilous Year

I cannot express how great this book is. Truly. 

Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at it’s best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at it’s best is power correcting everything that stands against love.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. King

HERE is some context to this [great] quote.

Joan Baez sings “Henry Martin” (1960) —-

Henry Martin is a traditional Scottish folk song about Henry Martin, a seafarer who turns to piracy to support his two older brothers.

The first known printed version dates from the early 17th century and consisted of 82 verses describing the exploits of Sir Andrew Barton and his two brothers, Robert and John. Barton was a privateer who carried a letter of marque issued by James IV, king of Scotland, giving him the right to arrest and seize Portuguese ships. He is alleged, however, to have exceeded his licence, engaging more generally in piracy. On 2 August 1511, he was killed, and his ship The Lion captured, after a fierce battle with Sir Edward Howard and his brother Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, who were acting on the authority of the English king Henry VIII.


Eisenhower’s “Military-Industrial Complex” Speech Origins and Significance

Given on January 17, 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s farewell address, known for its warnings about the growing power of the “military-industrial complex,” was nearly two years in the making. This Inside the Vaults video short follows newly discovered papers revealing that Eisenhower was deeply involved in crafting the speech, which was to become one of the most famous in American history. The papers were discovered by the family of Eisenhower speechwriter Malcolm Moos and donated to the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum. Eisenhower Library director Karl Weissenbach and presidential historian and Foundation for the National Archives board member Michael Beschloss discuss the evolution of the speech.