Tag Archives: Ron Crawford

Riffmaster & The Rockmes in No Cal: Rock & Roll Rebels for a Good Cause.

Poster by Ron Crawford, of course!

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Lincoln’s Proclamation of Thanksgiving: Context, Conflict and Commemoration.

Abraham Lincoln issued the Presidential proclamation that set the precedent for our national day of Thanksgiving on October 3, 1863.

On that date, America was just past the halfway point in the Civil War. The great Union victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg in July of ‘83 had raised hopes in the North that the Southern rebellion was doomed – but two months later, the Confederate victory at Chickamauga proved that the war was far from over.

The Battle of Chickamauga, September 19 and 20, 1863, were the two bloodiest days in American history. Chickamauga claimed the lives of 1,657 Federal troops — with 9,756 soldiers wounded and 4,757 missing for a total of 16,170 casualties out of 58,000 troops.

Painting by Keith Rocco

Confederate losses were just as steep: 2,312 dead, 14,674 wounded and 1,468 missing for a total of 18,545 out of 66,000 troops.

It was only the courageous rear-guard stand of Union General George “Pap” Thomas – the legendary “Rock of Chickamauga” – that kept the Federal army from suffering a total rout in northern Georgia — and set the table for a Union victory at the Battle of Missionary Ridge two months later on November 25, 1863.

Drawing by Ron Crawford

Today, though the Occupy Wall Street movement is provoking a healthy dialogue about the plight of the 99% versus the insane, unbalanced power, influence and affluence of the 1% — America is not embroiled in a civil war on the scale of the 19th Century War Between the States.

But, with pepper spray, police “batons”, riot gear, and other forms of authoritarian violence being directed against ordinary Americans seeking freedom and social and economic justice — it’s not entirely beyond the pale to suggest that this year’s Thanksgiving celebration falls on a date fraught with historic significance.

So today, November 24, 2011, let’s remember why Abe Lincoln established Thanksgiving as a national holiday in a much more desperate and pivotal moment in our national history. And let the Occupy Wall Street movement dine on turkey today — and draw strength for the battles ahead.

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore.

Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battlefield; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.

I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

And god bless the Occupy Wall Street Movement!

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Filed under Art, History, Politics

Capturing Occupy Wall Street: The Crawford Chronicles

Our great friend, the outrageously talented artist, Ron Crawford, has been spending a lot of time at Occupy Wall Street in lower Manhattan. Here’s another gallery of images that Ron has captured with his keen eye and splendid pen.

Solidarity forever!

The commentary that follows is Ron’s own.

“Down this morning to OWS. Keeping the place neat and clean. We donated some thin metallic blankets for warmth.”

“Here is the brass statue made famous in the 9-11 photo.”

“The fire department took their bio-diesel generator away so they’re recharging cell phones and computers with bicycle generators. The rigs were brought in by Times Up. Note their logo on the computer guy’s cap.”

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Occupy Wall Street: Thomas Paine & Ron Crawford Capture the Moment

Words by Thomas Paine — Drawings by Ron Crawford..

“These are the times that try men’s souls…

“The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”

“Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”

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An Artist Occupies Wall Street.

My good friend, the great artist Ron Crawford, went to Zuccotti Park on Friday October 21st and did what he does best: capture a scene in a few dynamic sweeps of his gifted pen.

Click on the drawing and blow it up.

I always love to see which details Ron chooses to focus on in his inspired sketches — like the word “Empathy” and the concerned fellow with a briefcase in the foreground.

Thanks, Ron – for giving those of us who can’t be there an eyewitness view of Occupy Wall Street that is, in many ways, more personal and revealing than a photo. (More drawings after the video.)

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A Mid-Year Celebration!

If nothing else worth celebrating happened today, June 30th would still mark the mid-point of 2011 — reason alone to pop a cork. But there are some very good reasons to mark this day with fanfare and hoopla.

The newlyweds and our comedy guru, Sheldon Patinkin, on June 30, 1990. A picture of perfect harmony in our universe.

The first reason to party today is personal. On June 30th, 1990, I was wise enough to wed the lovely, brilliant and talented Victoria Zielinski. Today is our 21st wedding anniversary. Whatever else I have done in my life to this point, marrying Victoria has been my shining accomplishment. Ultimately, my marriage to Vic will stand as the pinnacle of my achievement.

Now, from the sublime to the ridiculous…

The other reason to celebrate today is something we all can share with equal joy. Tonight, Glenn Beck will make his last appearance on Faux News before going off the air. Beck was banished by progressive activism that pushed more than 400 advertisers to pull their commercials from his show. Of course, Beck will not be going away entirely. He’s setting up his own Internet network so that he can live-stream his ravings for two hours a day starting in September – for just $9.95 a month! (Can you think of a bigger waste of an Alexander Hamilton?)

Today also marks the end of the first year and a half of this blog. And, thanks to all of you, 2011 has been going gangbusters for Paul’s Voyage of Discovery & Etc. Consider that this blog attracted 22,389 total views in 2010 – and the fact that there have been 23,845 views in the first half of 2011 alone. We’ve more than doubled our site visits from 60 daily views in 2010 to 133 per day this year. That says a lot for the growing community of friends and readers,  including 70 stalwart subscribers, that make this blog worth blogging.

So, what are all these readers reading on this blog? Of the 177 posts I’ve put up since I began this personal experiment in new media back on January 1, 2010 – the following are the Top Ten Posts. (You can access the original post by clicking on the title.)

1. Happy Birthday Bill of Rights!

(Posted 12/15/10.)

Though it’s a relatively recent post, this primer on one of America’s most misunderstood founding documents has gotten just over 6,000 views. Clearly, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann and Glen Beck were not among those 6,000 readers.

2. Aliens Among Us?

(Posted 1/26/11.)

The most recent post on the all-time Top Ten, this celebration of my favorite geniuses has attracted more than 2,000 views. (Which shows just how strong popular interest in the Bill of Rights is. And that’s somewhat comforting.) Were Abe Lincoln, Mark Twain and John Lennon aliens sent from another world to show humanity the light? Or just really, really, really cool…

3. History & Honeymoon: Part Three

(Posted 7/20/10. #5 post in 2010.)

1,623 viewers have perused my account of battlefield tramping through the Second Day’s fight at Gettysburg on July 2, 1863 and the heroism of Joshua Lawrence and the 20th Maine’s desperate defense of Little Round Top. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the start of The Civil War (Fort Sumter in 1861), which may be part of why this post has gained in popularity.

4. Baseball Season Opens: Of Mud Hens & More…

(Posted 4/6/10. #4 post in 2010.)

This article was the 4th most viewed post in 2010 – and it still holds that spot today. That’s because Baseball is eternal. (Though some games may seem interminable.)

5. The Practical Theatre Co. Part 1

(#3 post in 2010)

If you don’t know anything about The Practical Theatre Company, here’s a good place to start your education. (Many of you have already lived this history – in which case, you may not learn anything new, but you’ll enjoy the photos.)

6. All About The Rockme Foundation

(#2 post in 2010)

If you don’t know anything about Riffmaster & The Rockme Foundation, here’s a good place to start your education. (Many of you have already lived this history – in which case, you may not learn anything new, but you’ll enjoy the photos.) Wait! Did I already say that somewhere?

7. The Saints Come Marching In…

(Posted 2/8/10. #1 post in 2010.)

The second sports post on the Top Ten: an ode to my daddy’s New Orleans Saints and their Cinderella victory in the 2010 Super Bowl.

8. Bazooka Joe, Jay Lynch & Me

(Posted 1/9/10)

One of the first posts on this blog makes its first appearance in the Top Ten. Than can only mean one thing: it’s Jay Lynchmania!

9. “I have not yet begun to fight!”

(Posted 1/20/10. #7 post in 2010.)

This post is one of my personal favorites. Please forward it to all of your local Democratic politicians well in advance of the 2012 elections.

10. Le Salon de Crawford

(Posted 1/26/10. #8 post in 2010.)

Anchoring this list and first in our hearts, the fabulous Crawfords round out our Top Ten. If you haven’t already checked this post out, do it now. You will be introduced to the coolest and most talented family I know. They invented the word “groovy” to describe The Crawfords.

So, there you have it. A snapshot of Paul’s Voyage of Discovery & Etc at mid-year, 2011.

Don't click here. Click on the icon that looks just like this on the right hand column.

Thanks again to all of you for making this so much fun. And thanks for your 751 comments over the past 18 months. This blog is so much better when it’s a two-way street.

And, if you aren’t a subscriber yet – click on the image of the saluting Matey (at right, where it says “Hop Aboard) — and get on the bus. Or the blog. Or both.

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Ron, Wisconsin!

Our resident (and favorite) artist, Ron Crawford, sent us his rendering of today’s demonstration in New York by Screen Actors Guild members in solidarity with their fellow unionists in Madison, Wisconsin.  (That’s Ron himself depicted in the upper right corner of his drawing, holding the sign with a clenched fist.) How Ron manages to be in the moment and yet capture the overall moment is just one aspect of his singular talent.

Meanwhile, the momentum from the Madison uprising is being felt in Statehouses across the Midwest. And today, a national poll shows that, by a 2-1 margin, Americans oppose taking away the collective bargaining rights of public employees. According to a new USA Today/Gallup poll, 61% percent said they oppose legislation stripping public employees’ collective bargaining rights in their states, as compared to only 33% who favor such union-busting laws. The majority speaks!

On, Wisconsin!

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