August 2007

My birthday was on Monday, and so I am now the proud owner of two DVD Box sets. The First, given by my girlfriend was Band of Brothers, the World War II HBO miniseries that was made a few years ago and is always shown on veterans and Memorial Day. The second was procured with help from my mother. She gave me a check, which equaled the Civil War Ken Burns documentary.

I realize that I may love history more than most do. And I have often thought that maybe I should go back to school and get a degree in history. And I may do so. I’ve been researching how much it would cost and what schools I should go to and if my already present degree would eliminate the unnecessary courses like science and math. Or if it would be possible for me to take some kind of test in which I could be placed in an advanced class or maybe just audit enough for me to get the degree without having to be admitted to a four-year school. Because I think I would love a history degree for many reasons.

I’ve been tooling around with a book idea, which I plan to first publish here for the sake of just getting my thoughts out there. The title I have come up with is “Thoughts on the Government of the United States of America” based on John Adams Thoughts on Government, and Thomas Jefferson’s Thoughts on the Stet of Virginia. Plus a bunch of anarchist doctrine from Thomas Paine.

But while thinking of all this, I thought about what would have happened if Jefferson had gone with the original John Locke phrase “Life, Liberty, and Property” as apposed to paraphrasing the “Life Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” phrase he got from George Mason’s Virginia Declaration of Rights in which he stated that “all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights of which…[they cannot divest;] namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety…”

I wonder if Jefferson just said property as apposed to the pursuit of happiness whether or not we would have had the Civil War. Slavery would than be arguably protected by the declaration of independence and would have been argued more fiercely at the constitutional convention and argued into law. Thank god Jefferson didn’t want to plagiarize, just paraphrase…


One of the key arguments I have heard as to why Barack Obama should not be president has been his lack of experience. But what I find so odd is the idea that any one has experience at being president. Out of our first five presidents, one had experience leading men. Washington was a General, Adams lead committees in congress and was a third of the diplomatic team in Europe, Jefferson was a farmer, architect, scientist, writer, lover, jerk, and a horrible wartime governor of Virginia. Madison was a congressmen and writer, Monroe was the same. None of these men, with the exception of Washington had significant experience leading men. Or any before the country’s creation.

But another example sticks out in my mind, which I think is more relevant towards the experience question.

There was a man from Illinois who was awkward, considered two-faced, and only served 2 years on the national level as a lame-duck one-term congressman who could not win re-election. He retired from politics until a major political and social issue arose and required, in this man’s mind, a sudden and determined change. The issue was Slavery, the man Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln can arguably be called our greatest president.

Now, I have no idea what kind of president Obama would be. I haven’t even made a choice on whom I’m voting for, but I will say this, the people currently with the greatest resumes are Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. And look at the good job they’re doing….

biggerbox at Mahablog points out that our president perhaps does not know his history. I sure hope the people who listened to his speech do. If not, this seems like a good reason to keep on blogging.

[not: I worte this post about a month ago, and didn’t finish it, because i became to busy. so i apologize for my lack of posts, and now the sudden surplus.]

I just cme back from my Family reunion in Missouri, and we went through Potosi. And thus the story of Moses Austin.

Wikipedia says:
“Moses Austin (October 4, 1761 – June 10, 1821) was a leading figure in the development of the American lead industry and the father of Stephen F. Austin, a pioneer settler of Texas. He was the first to obtain permission for Anglo Americans to settle in Spanish Texas. He also established the first Anglo-American settlement west of the Mississippi River.”

He also created the town of Herculanium, Missouri, helped build and create the Lead mining industry in Missuori, and created Washington County, with Potosi as the county seat.

He was a major figure in the American settlement of Missuori and Texas. and without him (as i see it) i wold probably not be alive.

My mother was born in Missouri and raised in a small town named Flat River, Missouri. Without Austin, Missouri would have been settled in a vastly different way, and my ancestors, who were drawn to the lead mining industry would never have arrived, met, fell in love, married, had children, and thus my family line would not have been…or maybe it would and I am being overly dramatic, but still…Moses Austin.

the following people died this day in history:
1948 : Babe Ruth
1864 : Confederate General John Chambliss
1977 : Elvis Presley
1956 : Bela Lugosi
1987 : 156 people on North West flight 255
1985 : The Dukes of Hazard series
1841 : An effigy of President John Tyler

The following were born:
1894 : George Meany, first president of the AFL-CIO
1920 : Poet Charles Bukowski
1923 : The 8 hour work day

Plus in 1896 George Carmack, while fishing for salmon, discovers Klondike gold.

Gothamist reports on a new initiative to commemorate the abolitionist movement in Brooklyn. A panel of community leaders will make proposals for how to commemorate.

The Brooklyn Public Library has a great site on the Civil War and Brooklyn. Check it out.

Jackie MitchellSports fun today: Meet Jackie Mitchell, a 17-year-old minor league pitcher who struck out Babe Ruth. That’s remarkable enough. But the coolest part? She was a girl.

A few days after she struck out the Bambino, Baseball Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis decided that baseball was “too strenuous” for women. Women were allowed to play professional baseball again while the men were overseas in World War II. Then they were banned from baseball.

Jackie Mitchell at Baseball Almanac
All American Girls Professional Baseball League at
Song: Kenesaw Mountain Landis by Jonathan Coulton

And speaking of baseball, voice of the Yankees Phil Rizzuto died today.

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