Friday, February 24, 2017

William Bennett writes

I wrote a poem and sent-I-fied it to you: twas a brilliant poem with meanings deep and truth-I-fied; and rhymified; and if I must justifify, I believe it identified the hyper-see-of the American self-inflicted genocide-of-our-seed of ourselves: In short: Trump is Killing the US.
Trump Painting -- Rolf Groven

["I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star they let you do it. You can do anything ... Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything." -- Donald J. Trump]


  1. The Statue of Liberty is the common name for "Liberty Enlightening the World" (La Liberté éclairant le monde), a colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in New York harbor, hust over 151 ft (46 m) high. It is a robed female figure representing Libertas, the goddess of freedom widely worshipped in ancient Roma, especially among emancipated slaves; a Liberty figure adorned most American coins of the time, and representations of Liberty appeared in popular and civic art such as Thomas Crawford's 1863 Statue of Freedom atop the dome of the United States Capitol Building, and a figure of Liberty was also depicted on the Great Seal of France. The Statue of Liberty holds a torch above her head in her right hand, representing progress, and in her left arm carries a tabula ansata (a tablet evoking the law) inscribed "JULY IV MDCCLXXVI" (July 4, 1776, the date traditionally connected to the American Declaration of Independence). A broken chain lies at her feet. Instead of a pileus, the cap given to emancipated Roman slaves (which Crawford had intended to crown his statue but replaced it with a helmet due to the objections of war secretary Jefferson Davis, the future president of the Confederate States of America), the Statue of Liberty wears a diadem with seven rays forming a halo or aureole, evoking the sun, the "seven seas," and the seven continents, representing another means whereby Liberty enlightens the world.

  2. The copper statue, a gift from the people of France to the people of the United States, was designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, inspired by his friend, the jurist-poet-politician Édouard René Lefèbvre de Laboulaye (the translator of Benjamin Franklin's autobiography and the works of Unitarian theologian William Ellery Channing), who in 1865 suggested that the French should present a monument to American independence and liberal ideals in the hopes of strengthening the ties between the two peoples. In 1869, Bartholdi proposed a huge lighthouse to be built at the entrance of the new Suez Canal, to be called "Progress" or "Egypt Carrying the Light to Asia," shaped like an ancient Egyptian female fellah (peasant), robed and holding a torch aloft, but it was not commissioned. He seems to have been inspired chiefly by the 3rd century BCE Colossus of Rhodes (ho Kolossòs Rhódios), a bronze statue of the Greek sun god Helio, reputedly 108 feet (33 m) high with a light to guide ships. In 1871 Bartholdi visited the US and pitched his friend's idea of a massive statue to honor the centennial of American independence. He focused on Bedloe's Island as its site, since every ship arriving in New York, the busiest port in the country, had to sail past it. President Ulysses S. Grant assured him that it would not be difficult to obtain the site, since it was owned by the US government and was thus, as Bartholdi told Laboulaye, "land common to all the states." He may have made the first sketches for the statue while visiting the studio of American artist John LaFarge and continued to develop the concept following his return to France.

  3. In 1875 Laboulaye proposed that the French should finance the statue and the Americans provide the site and build the pedestal, and he announced the formation of the Franco-American Union to raise funds; in 1876 he arranged for a special performance at the Paris Opera that featured a new cantata by Charles Gounod, "La Liberté éclairant le monde." Schoolchildren and ordinary citizens donated money, as did 181 French municipalities. Bartholdi completed the head and the torch-bearing arm before the statue was fully designed, and these pieces were exhibited for publicity at international expositions, including the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876 (and then in Madison Square Park in New York until 1882) and the 1878 Paris World's Fair. Bartholdi's mentor, the architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, acted as chief engineer; he designed a brick pier within the statue to anchor the skin and determined that the copper sheets should be shaped by repoussé, a method in which they were heated and then struck with wooden hammers, in order to lighten the weight since the copper would only need be 0.094 inches (2.4 mm) thick. Industrialist Eugène Secrétan donated 58,100 kg (128,000 pounds) of the 90,800 kg (200,000 pounds) needed. However, Viollet-le-Duc fell ill in 1879 and soon died, leaving no indication of how he intended to transition from the copper skin to his proposed masonry pier. In 1880 Bartholdi enlisted the services of Gustave Eiffel and his structural engineer, Maurice Koechlin, who abandoned the pier idea in favor of an iron truss tower and also rejected the use of a completely rigid structure (which would force stresses to accumulate in the skin and lead to cracking), so a secondary, load-bearing skeleton was attached to the center pylon and the support structure was loosely connected to the skin using flat iron bars that culminated in a mesh of "saddles" (metal straps) riveted to the skin, each of which had to be crafted individually. Joachim Goschen Giæver designed the structural framework. To prevent galvanic corrosion between the copper skin and the iron support structure, Eiffel insulated the skin with asbestos impregnated with shellac. Two interior spiral staircases allowed visitors to reach the observation point in the crown, and a 40- ft (12 m) ladder provided access to an observation platform surrounding the torch (which was closed to public access since 1914 due to safety reasons). Bartholdi had expected to assemble the skin on-site as the masonry pier was built, but the change to iron led him to build the statue in France, disassemble it, transport it to New York, and reassemble it in situ. As the pylon tower arose, Eiffel and Bartholdi coordinated their work carefully so that completed segments of skin would fit exactly on the support structure.

  4. The figure was designed with a strong, uncomplicated silhouette which would be set off well by its dramatic harbor placement and allow passengers to experience a changing perspective on the statue as they proceeded toward Manhattan. He gave it bold classical contours and applied simplified modeling, reflecting the huge scale of the project and its solemn purpose. In Bartholdi's words, "The surfaces should be broad and simple, defined by a bold and clear design, accentuated in the important places. The enlargement of the details or their multiplicity is to be feared. By exaggerating the forms, in order to render them more clearly visible, or by enriching them with details, we would destroy the proportion of the work. Finally, the model, like the design, should have a summarized character, such as one would give to a rapid sketch. Only it is necessary that this character should be the product of volition and study, and that the artist, concentrating his knowledge, should find the form and the line in its greatest simplicity." On 3 March 1877, on his final full day in office, Grant signed a joint resolution that authorized the president to accept the statue when it was presented by France and to select a site for it, and his successor, Rutherford B. Hayes, chose Bedloe's Island, as Bartholdi had proposed. The fortifications of the structure were in the shape of an 11-point star. The foundation was to be laid inside Fort Wood, a disused army base on the island, aligned so that it would face southeast to greet ships entering from the Atlantic Ocean. In 1881 Richard Morris Hunt was commissioned to design the pedestal. He proposed a structure that would be 114 ft (35 m) high, but that was reduced to 89 ft (27 m), made of solid granite, but the final design called for poured concrete walls faced with granite blocks (the largest concrete mass poured to that time). The large mass was fragmented with architectural detail in order to focus attention on the statue. A truncated pyramid 62 ft (19 m) square at the base and 39.4 ft (12.0 m) at the top, it had four identical sides; above the door on each side were 10 disks (upon which Bartholdi proposed to place the coats of arms of the states, although this was not done), and above each door a balcony framed by pillars. Bartholdi placed an observation platform near the top of the pedestal, above which the statue itself arose. The American committee hired general Charles Pomeroy Stone to oversee the construction of the 15-ft (4.6 m) foundation, which began in 1883; the pedestal's cornerstone was laid in 1884. In a symbolic act, the first rivet placed into the skin, fixing a copper plate onto the statue's big toe, was driven by Levi P. Morton, the American ambassador to France, and the completed statue was formally presented to Morton on 4 July 1884. Laboulaye died in 1883 and was succeeded as chairman of the French committee by Ferdinand de Lesseps, builder of the Suez Canal, who announced that the French government had agreed to pay for the transport to New York. The statue remained intact in Paris pending sufficient progress on the pedestal.

  5. American fundraising began in 1882 but proved to be difficult despite numerous money-raising events, including an auction of art and manuscripts; Emma Lazarus was asked to donate an original work but declined since she did not think she could write a poem about a statue but in 1883 she was inspired to write a sonnet, "The New Colossus," which was inscribed on a bronze tablet mounted inside the pedestal in 1903. In 1884 governor Grover Cleveland vetoed a bill to provide $50,000 for the pedestal, and an attempt to get the US government to provide the $100,000 needed to complete the project failed the next year. Finally, "New York World" publisher Joseph Pulitzer launched a drive for donations and pledged to print the name of every contributor. Pulitzer also published many of the notes he recieved from contibutors ("A young girl alone in the world" donated "60 cents, the result of self denial." Another donor gave "five cents as a poor office boy's mite toward the Pedestal Fund." A group of children sent a dollar as "the money we saved to go to the circus with." Another dollar was given by a "lonely and very aged woman." A kindergarten class in Davenport, Iowa, mailed in $1.35) The drive attracted more than 120,000 contributors, 80% of whom gave less than a dollar. In January 1885 the statue was disassembled and crated for its ocean voyage, and the statue arrived in New York on 17 June 1885, welcomed by hundreds of boats and 200,000 people lining the docks. The pedestal was completed in April 1886 and reassembly began. Due to the width of the pedestal it was not possible to erect scaffolding, so workers had to install the skin sections dangling from ropes. Bartholdi had planned to put floodlights on the torch's balcony to illuminate it, but a week before the dedication the Army Corps of Engineers vetoed the proposal out of concern that pilots would be blinded passing the statue; so Bartholdi cut portholes in the gold-leaf-covered torch and placed the lights inside, which proved to be ineffective. Its completion was marked by New York's first ticker-tape parade and a dedication ceremony on 28 October 1886. De Lesseps made the first speech, followed by the chairman of the New York committee, senator William M. Evarts; a French flag draped across the statue's face was to be lowered to unveil the statue at the close of his speech, but Bartholdi mistook a pause as the conclusion and let the flag fall prematurely, and the ensuing cheers put an end to Evarts' address. Then president Cleveland spoke, followed by a lengthy oration by Chauncey M. Depew. A scheduled fireworks display was postponed until 1 November because of poor weather. In 1914 Ralph Pulitzer, who had succeeded his father at the world, raised $30,000 for an exterior lighting system to illuminate the statue at night, and Gutzon Borglum, who later sculpted Mount Rushmore, redesigned the torch, replacing much of the original copper with stained glass in 1916, but an exact replica of Bartholdi's torch was added in 1986, and the flame was covered in 24-carat gold. In 1956 Bedloe's Island was renamed Liberty Island, a change advocated by Bartholdi.
    The New Colossus
    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-tost to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"


Join the conversation! What is your reaction to the post?