Thursday, April 09, 2009

Crosspost and Comment: Exceptionalism and Permanancy

President Obama, 4 April 2009, Strasbourg [via]:
"I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism. I'm enormously proud of my country and its role and history in the world. If you think about the site of this summit and what it means, I don't think America should be embarrassed to see evidence of the sacrifices of our troops, the enormous amount of resources that were put into Europe postwar, and our leadership in crafting an Alliance that ultimately led to the unification of Europe. We should take great pride in that.

"And if you think of our current situation, the United States remains the largest economy in the world. We have unmatched military capability. And I think that we have a core set of values that are enshrined in our Constitution, in our body of law, in our democratic practices, in our belief in free speech and equality, that, though imperfect, are exceptional.

"Now, the fact that I am very proud of my country and I think that we've got a whole lot to offer the world does not lessen my interest in recognizing the value and wonderful qualities of other countries, or recognizing that we're not always going to be right, or that other people may have good ideas, or that in order for us to work collectively, all parties have to compromise and that includes us.

"And so I see no contradiction between believing that America has a continued extraordinary role in leading the world towards peace and prosperity and recognizing that that leadership is incumbent, depends on, our ability to create partnerships because we create partnerships because we can't solve these problems alone."

Passover is my nostalgic holiday. That and Thanksgiving, I guess: these are the holidays where the family comes together, or the community, or friends (or, since you can have multiple seders over Passover, all of the above!), where the food is distinctive and deeply rooted. Also, the preparation is fairly intense, so there's a period of anticipation and planning that hightens the experience.

So if you're wondering what I've been doing this last week, it's the usual, plus a bunch of extra shopping and planning. And next week will be a cavalcade of ritual: recipe following, haggadah-reading, actual seders, informal get-togethers, and more recipe following (I'm a very improvisational cook, usually, but not with Passover recipes; if you don't get them right, the results can be really unpleasant).

What are you up to these days?

That was my "Open Thread" post at Progressive Historians. I also left the following comment:
Twice in the last two weeks, at two different blogs, I've seen a post on which I'd left a comment deleted. In one case the author decided that it was a draft, not ready for prime time; in the other, the post remained crossposted elsewhere, where it got much friendlier comments.

One of the reasons I started my comments elsewhere tag was the sometimes fragile nature of the internet, but I need, apparently, to move more quickly on these things.

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