Category Archives: History
Soon there will be no troublesome middle class
Filed under History, Income Inequality, Jobs, Progressive Ideals, Workers Rights
A mere 70 years ago
I am reminded to be grateful for what I do have.
Filed under History, Income Inequality, Infrastructure, memories, The Economy
The Gettysburg Address
Seven score and seven years ago, on the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Abraham Lincoln spoke these words.
One of the most memorable speeches in American history: The Gettysburg Address. Some 3,577 Union soldiers—half of them unknown—from 18 states are buried in Gettysburg’s Soldiers’ National Cemetery. In just a few minutes and 272 words, Lincoln described his vision for “a new birth of freedom” for America. It was what many consider the best summation in the nation’s history of the meaning and price of freedom.
Filed under History
The more ‘things’ change, the more they stay the same
Here’s what Moonshadow has to say — “I’m attaching the article I spoke of. I’d like someone that has more knowledge of our political/economic history to comment on it. I can see a lot that sounds just like the tea partiers. Saying that, how did things progress then and wouldn’t the same approach garner a similar outcome? Let me know what you think and turn it over to whoever can speak to this.”
Know who I think can speak to this? YOU!
Filed under Economics, History, Political Reform
One hundred years ago
The year is 1910
One hundred years ago.
What a difference a century makes!
Here are some statistics for the Year 1910:
************ ********* ************
The average life expectancy for men was 47 years.
Fuel for this car was sold in drug stores only.
Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.
Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.
There were only 8,000 cars and only 144 miles of paved roads.
The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.
The average US wage in 1910 was 22 cents per hour.
The average US worker made between $200 and $400 per year. A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year, a dentist $2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.
More than 95 percent of all births took place at HOME .
Ninety percent of all Doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION! Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press AND by the government as ‘substandard.’
Sugar cost four cents a pound.
Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.
Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.
Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.
Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason.
The Five leading causes of death were:
1. Pneumonia and influenza
4. Heart disease
The American flag had 45 stars.
The population of Las Vegas, Nevada, was only 30!
Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn’t been invented yet.
There was no Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.
Two out of every 10 adults couldn’t read or write and only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.
Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at the local corner drugstores. Back then pharmacists said, ‘Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health.’
Eighteen percent of households had at least one full-time servant or domestic help.
There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE U.S.A. !
The Man Who Changed Glenn Beck’s Life (via The Glenn Beck Review)
I’m just checking out WordPress’ new “reblogging” feature.
I’ve always maintained that I’m not “anti” anything, but rather “pro” other things.
Sooo….this is my disclaimer. I’m not anti-Glenn Beck, I’m PRO-REALITY and TRUTH!
Memorial Day is the traditional kick off for Summertime, even though the official first day of summer is not until later in June. For many, Memorial Day means picnics, trips to the lake, baseball games, horseshoes, pool parties, kids out of school, barbecues and the Indy 500.
And, yes, it means all those things, but there is a greater meaning.
The loss of a loved one in war must be a horrible burden to bear, one that I have not personally felt, but one that I can empathize with completely.
Our great nation, however imperfect she may be, has stood the test of time and our brightest and best have stood up for her and defended her throughout history, some with the forfeiture of their lives.
The shot heard ’round the world. The Battle of New Orleans. Gettysburg. The Hundred Day Offensive. Pearl Harbor, Normandy, the Battle of the Bulge and Iwo Jima. The Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. The Tet Offensive. The Mother of All Battles. Kabul. Baghdad.
No matter your thoughts on these wars, you have to respect those that fought them for us, and those that made the ultimate sacrifice. They deserve no less.
Today, when you sit down with your family, friends or even alone, take a moment to reflect on those that stood tall to protect our freedom and liberty.
But I would also suggest that you remember those that lost their lives, but not in uniform, but for a cause greater than themselves.
Medgar Evers. Dr. King. Rachel Corrie. James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner. Matthew Shepard. Harvey Milk. Rachel Corrie. Tom Hurndall. The Kennedy’s. And many, many more.
Today is the day we set aside to honor those that have come before us, blazing a trail so we all may have a better life. As you celebrate the day, stop to remember and honor those that have made this day possible.
It’s the least we can do.
William Stephenson Clark
Filed under Celebration, History, President Barack Obama, Tributes, WAR
The Progression of a Society
Of late, there has been a great deal of talk about the intent of the Founding Fathers of our country, particularly as it relates to the Constitution. To some, the Fathers were infallible and divinely inspired.
While I have great admiration and am grateful that those Patriots brought to birth our nation, I do not share in the deification of the Founding Fathers. When this nation was born, women were still second class citizens and non-whites weren’t even citizens at all. Slavery and the genocide of the Native Americans were the law of the land. All men were not created equal.
The progression of a society is a slow process and sometimes that progression is accompanied by violence and even war. Some of the progress is prompted by court decision, other by courageous and principled legislative activity and more yet by seminal changes in attitudes within society.
Sometimes, the leadership that is required to facilitate progress is not recognized as such at the time. Today, we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr., but in the Sixties, he was vilified by a good portion of society. The FBI had an extensive file on him and many were convinced that he was a communist. MLK did not change – society’s attitude towards him changed.
Most take for granted the progression of society wrought by the Civil Rights Movement, but that progression came with a horrible price tag and virtually split the country in half once again.
It is said that opposition to Gay Rights is the last “acceptable” form of bigotry. I feel for those that are hurt by the lack of progress towards equality for our gay brothers and sisters, but I also remember that it was just a half century ago that racial discrimination was rampant.
That is scant consolation for those damaged by sexual orientation discrimination, but with time comes progress and time is greatly compressed in this age of high speed communication. I am not preaching patience, I am preaching hope.
The day will come when, truly, all men and women are created equal.
William Stephenson Clark
Filed under GLBT Rights, History, Marriage Equality, Progressive Ideals, Uncategorized
Does Oliver Stone have a point or just hoping controversy sells?
Oliver Stone: Hitler An ‘Easy Scapegoat’
Stone made the comments while speaking at a gathering of TV critics in California this weekend. At the conference Stone introduced his latest project, modestly titled “Oliver Stone’s Secret History of America,” a 10-hour series for Showtime that will serve as an antidote to the way recent U.S. history has been presented in schools and the media. Stone has previously mined similar territory in films such as “JFK.”
“Hitler is an easy scapegoat throughout history and it’s been used cheaply,” Stone said at the conference. “Stalin has a complete other story. Not to paint him as a hero, but to tell a more factual representation. He fought the German war machine more than any person.”
Other topics addressed in the documentary will be Truman’s decision to drop the bomb and the origins of the Cold War.
The point of this exercise, Stone said, was to put these figures “in context.” Much like with “W,” Stone said he was attempting to “understand somebody I thoroughly despised.”
“You cannot approach history unless you have empathy for the person you may hate,” Stone said.
Sloop John B. – The Folk Roots of the Song Popularized by the Beach Boys…
The current political news is so uninspiring, that I thought I’d do something different, less depressing, and hopefully, more interesting…
My current favorite guitar teacher, Fred Sokolow, does an excellent job of teaching the folk classic the Beach Boys popularized. I had no idea it was a pretty old folk tune. Here are the lyrics (no doubt, in the public domain longer than my father has been alive, and probably longer than his father’s life span).
‘We come on the Sloop John B., my grandfather and me. Around Nassau town we did roam, Drinking all night, got into a fight. I feel so broke (I going with the Beach Boy words here, instead of “break up”) up, I wanna go home.
Chorus: ‘So hoist up the John B. sails, see how the main sail sets, Call for the captain ashore, let me go home. Let me go home. I want to go home. I feel so broke-up, I wanna go home.
“The first mate he got drunk, broke up the people’s trunk. Constable had to come and take him away. Sheriff Johnstone, please let me alone. I feel so broke-up, I wanna go home.
“The poor cook he got the fits, threw away all of my grits, Then he took and ate up all of my corn. Let me go home, I wanna go home, This is the worse trip I ever been on.”
WordPress formatting does not fit well with poetry-type writing, but hopefully, the gist is clear enough here. Will follow with some YouTube treats.
Which side are you on: What labor day is all about.
Filed under Celebration, History, Populists, Thinking/Considering
Out Of Africa: Human DNA
Did anyone watch “The Human Family Tree” recently on the National Geographic channel? One of the most fascinating facts found out, after checking the DNA of 350,000 human beings from every corner of the planet, is we all come from the same area of Africa.
200,000 – 150,000 years ago: The genetic journey of everyone alive today began with one woman — “Scientific Eve” — who lived in Africa and passed along her DNA through special cell structures called mitochondria, which only women pass down to further generations. What that means is, we are all related: Black, White, Yellow, Brown . . . we’re all the same. Our DNA varies by 1/10 of 1%, and that small percentage is what gives us our individual identities.
The color of a humans skin comes not from DNA, but where our ancestors migrated to. European ancestors lived in cold climates, so skin pigmentation lightened over generations. Those living in warmer or hotter climates retained the darker characteristics. It makes it interesting, then, how much race (which actually doesn’t exist) plays the role it does in society. I wonder how racists would actually feel if they knew they were hating their brothers and cousins? My guess is they would not believe the evidence when presented to them. All one has to do is look to people like Linda Jenkins, Bill O’Reilly and their ilk to understand facts have little meaning to them.
So, readers, how do we change the minds of people bent on destroying race relations, when the evidence of DNA points to the non-existence of race? Is it even possible?
Filed under Celebration, Diversity, Evolution, hate groups, History, Life Lessons, racism, Research, Thinking/Considering