Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for February 13th, 2022


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I’ve had a hard time fulfilling my PQ, or possumhaw quota, this winter. For whatever reason—perhaps the sustained freeze last February—most of the possumhaws (Ilex decidua) I’ve seen this season haven’t produced a lot of fruit. A few weeks ago I made sure to check out several that looked fabulous last year; this time they were almost completely bare. Among the best specimens I’ve found was the one shown above on January 26th in a front yard six houses away from us. A bright blue sky as a contrasting backdrop didn’t hurt, and a bird’s nest added a point of interest. A possumhaw within sight of that one that has borne dense fruit in other years was practically devoid of any this year. Three days later along Cameron Road I stopped to photograph another possumhaw that looked pretty good:


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I recently learned about the ruling by a United States District Court in the 1967 case “Lee v. Macon County Board of Education.” The court notably found that “It is also axiomatic that a state may not induce, encourage or promote private persons to accomplish what it is constitutionally forbidden to accomplish.” The same principle naturally holds true for the federal government. As the First Amendment to the United States Constitution puts it: “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech….” Unfortunately, members of Congress and the executive branch of our government are increasingly seeking to circumvent that prohibition by urging private companies to do the censoring for them. In a current example, “Chelsea Greene Publishing is suing Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren for allegedly abusing her political authority to push Amazon to censor their book titled ‘The Truth About COVID-19.’ The publisher alleges serious First Amendment violations.”

I don’t know how accurate or inaccurate the statements in that book will eventually prove to be—think about the many times government health officials have reversed themselves about the Covid-19 pandemic, sometimes even later admitting that they’d known what they were saying wasn’t true—but no member of the government should be telling booksellers what books they can and cannot sell.

Not that large companies like Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, and Twitter need much nudging from the federal government—on their own they’ve already been suppressing and canceling people who dissent from whatever the latest orthodoxy is. Elizabeth Warren might as well encourage fire to be hot or rain to be wet.

© 2022 Steven Schwartzman







Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 13, 2022 at 4:25 AM

Posted in nature photography

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