"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Friday, December 3, 2010

Birthdays Today

 Birthdays are in a minor key today.  

Born in 1755, Gilbert Stuart was the portrait painter whose work you see every day:

I am just beginning Ron Chernow's new biography of Washington.   Chernow is one of the best biographers going, the author of Alexander Hamilton, Titan (about John D. Rockefeller), and The House of Morgan (about J.P. Morgan and the investment bank he founded).  

It is also idiot rocker Ozzy Osbourne's birthday,born in 1948, but I have my standards.

Good grief.   What would Gibbon have to say about this sort of thing as evidence of Decline and Fall?

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