Silver Linings and Points of Light

I share many Americans’ gloom in the present political moment. My conservative concerns are legion. But I see points of light in the night sky. I see silver linings to the dark clouds, suggesting the light still burns beyond them.

To be sure, I don’t always write cheerfully.

  • Four posts ago I wrote about not giving ourselves permission to hate people. Hatred is as dark as darkness gets.
  • Three posts ago I wrote about social media censorship and possible measures against it — for a future day when we may have a government which isn’t in bed with Big Tech.
  • Two posts ago I wrote about the rush to reimpeachment and its motives. My thoughts were not sweetness and light.
  • Last time I described a dark and detailed dream about freedom, truth, and their enemies’ raging lust for power. I’ll let you decide, when you read it, whether you think it was really just a dream.

In one or two of those sober posts, and in private conversations with several readers, in person and online, I promised happy thoughts to come — because there are some.

I have three potentially therapeutic things for you. (In some cases I may have to explain the cheering effect.) They are danger signs we don’t see yet, those happy thoughts I promised, and things to do.

Constitution Day: A Big Deal

US ConstitutionHappy Constitution Day!

228 years ago today, the 1787 Constitutional Convention finished its work and formally sent its proposed Constitution of the United States of America to the states for ratification. It was a pivotal day (and then some) for the United States, but also for the world.

Granted, the Founders each brought large, vigorous bundles of competing interests to the convention. Granted, they were imperfect on many levels, as mortals tend to be. Granted, some of them owned slaves, and the rest of them were (just barely) willing to defer that problem as the price of having a functioning government at all. Granted — and inevitably — their work was imperfect, incomplete. That’s why they established a mechanism for amending it. But their compromise of compromises was the best they could do under the circumstances. It was the best we have ever done. They gave us a flawed, tempestuous republic which survives to this day.

One More Habit: Remember (and Something to Begin It)

I pondered and refined my list of Freedom Habits for about two years before building this site and rolling it live. (I did so off and on, not continuously.) It’s a good list. And two months hadn’t passed before I realized that I had missed at least one: Remember.

That thought struck on Veterans Day. And it stuck, too. So I’ve added a habit to the site, with links, its own page, and so forth.

Let’s start by remembering my fellow Cornellian, Dawn Seymour. Fifty years before I showed up in Ithaca for graduate school, she received her undergraduate degree there, stayed to work as an instructor . . . and soon declared that she wanted to learn to fly.

Which she did – and she married a pilot along the way. She flew B-17s on daily training missions for a year and a half during World War II.

Maybe it’s just me, but I think her 1,100 fellow WASPs — including the 38 who lost their lives — deserve to have the rest of us remember.

Read Dawn Seymour’s story here.

Come to think of it, all of this is appropriate to Pearl Harbor Day too, which is today. But you remembered that, didn’t you?

Recommended Small, Daily Doses


Many books make sense, more or less, if you read them in small pieces, day after day. Some don’t. Here are some books that are particularly well suited to brief, daily reading.


A valuable companion to Reagan, In His Own Hand is Reagan in His Own Voice, which features audio recordings of dozens of his radio spots, with some commentary for context. This lives on my iPod and brings back memories of many early mornings in my youth.

(Links here are to my Amazon store. Purchases support this site.)

Do you have favorite daily doses?