Second Bill of Rights

fdr_no_fearThe Second Bill of Rights was a list of rights proposed by Franklin D. Roosevelt during his State of the Union Address on January 11, 1944.[1] In his address Roosevelt suggested that the nation had come to recognize, and should now implement, a second “bill of rights“. Roosevelt’s argument was that the “political rights” guaranteed by the constitution and the Bill of Rights had “proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.” Roosevelt’s remedy was to declare an “economic bill of rights” which would guarantee:

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A Child’s Christmas in New England

Hi Folks,

I hope this post finds you and yours well and celebrating the season in whichever way your tradition dictates. Whether its Kwanzaa or Hanukkah, Solstice or Sadeh, Christmas or Pancha Ganapti, I wish you all the best.

Following is my version of the Winter Tradition; at least as it was when I was a child. Ours, my family’s and mine, was one steeped in the Christian and Secular Tradition. Informed by the Christian Bible and embellished with the story of Old Saint Nick, we observed the birth of Christ and the Spirit of Giving embodied in Santa.

I hope you will enjoy this little story of mine and I also hope you will enjoy the company of good friends and family at this magical time of year. “Magical” in that, for many, all differences are set aside and an overarching sense of togetherness and good will are the markers of these days.

So without further ado, here is my A Child’s Christmas in New England (or somewhere thereabout), inspired by my favorite poet Dylan Thomas who decades ago wrote his A Child’s Christmas in Wales and for who I named my son.

Slainte! Merry Christmas! Le’chayim! Matunda ya kwanza! Feliz Navidad! Etc! Etc!

A Child’s Christmas in New England

by philip scott wikel

One Christmas was never quite like the other in those years in upstate New York, nearby the black dirt and the pines and Sugar Loaf Mountain all covered since Thanksgiving with a healthy velvet of white; slick, crisp and slippery (depending upon the time of day, night or clouds, and angles of the sun).

One Christmas was never quite like another, but all, from the morning of my eyes to the time when this snow-packed, snow-suited, frost-bit and chapped-lip boy went bounding toward the adulthood that swallows us; left as such to wish for the simple truth of a greyish-yellow snowbound sky, and snowflakes that gave chase and cooled the tips of tongues…

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13 (for my son)

Thirteen

by philip scott wikel

My son is growing, changing, struggling, reaching, thinking, dreaming, believing, hoping, and, hopefully, knowing where he is. At 13 it’s as if you’ve found yourself on the map. It’s not a map that you made of course, but it’s the map you find that you’ve been placed. There’s a dotted line on the map and that is, you suppose, the line you’re meant to follow. You sit and look at the lines and remember some of the places the lines lead to and you remember when you walked these streets with no singular purpose other than to just keep walking, keep feeling the sun on your face and feel the warmth in your legs as they chug away at the asphalt and dirt and cement and then, maybe, up a tree, not necessarily to get a better look but maybe just because the tree is there and you feel the deepest need to climb it.

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