Wednesday, February 25, 2015

THYME Magazine: Winter in America II

Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor

Volume IX, Issue VIII

Scenes of Winter Wonder

One of my favorite memories from my youth was the Baltimore Sun's Sunday magazine, the Brown Section. Each week it came filled with wonderful photographs by A. Aubrey Bodine, Baltimore's Photographer Laureate. He worked for the Sun for fifty years and his work continues to inspire my own. 

Japanese Maple
Japanese Maple in the snow. Photo by Bob Kirchman

Catalpa in the cold and snow.  Photo by Bob Kirchman

Sycamore Snow. Photo by Bob Kirchman

Skyline Drive
Ice on Skyline Drive. Photo by Bob Kirchman

Ice along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Photo by Bob Kirchman

Parkway Ice. Photo by Bob Kirchman

The past week's Winter storm inspired the photographs of trees, ice and snow. It also inspired a visit to some images captured in past storms. Some people see Winter as a drab and colorless time. I just wanted to celebrate the beauty to be found there.

Leadership in Winter
Fifteen Ideas for 2015 -- Mercatus Center

In the spirit of Alexis de Tocqueville, we must reawaken understanding and respect for cultural democracy, which is to say communities, lest we allow political democracy — the government — to continue trampling the people’s will in the people’s name." -- Veronique de Rugy

Addressing everything from education to healthcare reform, scholars from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University present a vision for reviving innovation and true seeking of solutions. The fifteen ideas presented here present a refreshing alternative to the media narratives such as: "We have to pass the bill to see what's in it!" -- Nancy Pelosi. Wonder of wonders, here are a whole plethora of ideas to make things better. Government, we discover, often needs to simply get out of the way. Sadly, the political narrative and the media narrative would lead you to believe that there is no hope short of massive Federal involvement. The great growth this country experienced in her first one hundred years actually occurred with minimal taxation (there was NO Federal Income Tax prior to 1913)! Government didn't necessarily build it.

Unleashing the forces of independent inventiveness might just spur a new era of American innovation. The scholars at Mercatus write:

At the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, we think ideas change the world, so our scholars produce ideas honed by the criticisms and challenges of peers within the university — not inflated or elevated by partisan politics. We’re committed to bridging academic ideas to solve real world problems — working with policymakers at the state and federal levels that promote free enterprise and limited government — so that when politicians find themselves staring into the face of a crisis, they have the best ideas available to them: ideas with the power to create real change.

Are our ideas any good? Judge for yourself. Our scholars lay out ideas they think could create a freer, more prosperous, and more peaceful society. See if you agree."

Fifteen Ideas for 2015 [click to read]

Sycamore Snow II. Photo by Bob Kirchman

Sycamore Snow III. Photo by Bob Kirchman

Sycamore Snow IV. Photo by Bob Kirchman

The View from Wachovia Tower

"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust." -- Psalms 91:1-2. Sunset as seen from the Wachovia Tower in Roanoke, Virginia... Photo by Bob Kirchman. 

...which is the tallest building in Western Virginia. It is 21 stories high. Photo by Bob Kirchman

The pyramidal top of the Wachovia Tower gives homage to the Hotel Roanoke. St. Andrew's Catholic Church may be seen to the left of the hotel in this photo taken from Wachovia Tower's tenth floor. Photo by Bob Kirchman

His Eye is on the Sparrow

"Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?" -- Matthew 6:26. 
Photo by Bob Kirchman

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