Thursday, August 30, 2012

I enjoyed rambling on last Saturday, so I poured a little glass of scotch and will ramble on some more.

I decided to write some more and sip a little more scotch, not necessarily in that order.   I find that there are some authors who write what most care not too. There are many who will tow the line to be either politically correct, historically pleasing, or just out and out lie to keep a sacred cow from being slaughtered. This has become part of the historic circle. everyone quotes each other and it is often rehashed trash in new words.

I often think of many historic figures have been made into wax figures with a large sign on them saying....


I am always in awe of writers such as Gore Vidal who shares a birth day with me. Not the year, just the month and day. He was a great in satire, history, essays, drama, and movies.  He influenced many, and I have read his books with great relish.
He had many great feuds and was not at all friendly with Truman Capote, Norman Mailer, and William F. Buckley. When told that Capote had died Vidal told his publisher "It was a good career move".  He could be hard to deal with and blunt. But till the last few years he was always on the money.

He lived to see all of his detractors die. Then he passed his mortal coil and joined the majority.  I bring him up cause he pretty much alone brought back much of history to the common reader. He made a nitch for himself with so many glorious pieces of historic fiction. But what he did also was to give life to many of the historic figures and brought them back from being icons and back into men and women. For that we should be thankful.  For as I have said before history is really starting to look like a valentines club where historians who really do not write much of anything new fawn over their subject like a lovesick girl.

I think that is the biggest load of bullshit ever!

This is why Vidal was disliked by many historians as he knew more than them and was also not afraid to be honest about the historic figures themselves.

I have mentioned before the stupidness of many Lincoln scholars who just quote each other!  What about some original and damning critical information.

 It reminds me of David Irving.While I am not a great fan but must agree that he works hard at what he does. He has brought out more information on the 3rd Reich than any 5 historians put together as he just uses original sources. His quote that I liked was "If you copy from one book you are a plagiarist, if you copy from 5 books you are a good researcher"  That is how many histories are written today.

Irving's book  on Winston Churchill was wonderful in its freshness and sheer information. It did show Churchill as he was. A sort of drunk Dick Chaney figure who had no trouble lying, deceiving, covering up, destroying people, and working hard to start a war and by doing so ruining the economy and the empire. Of course this is not what the Church of Churchill wants to hear. They have created a myth and likes to stand by it.  Churchill had some good qualities of course and was wonderful in his running of the war. If you have not read the book I would recommend it.

The many books by Thomas DiLorenzo are at times very strongly worded. He is not a fan of what he calls the Church of Lincoln and I can understand that. They are like a team of wagons and if there is an attack they circle the wagons and let no one in, and no information out.  I found this article by him about what Lincoln was up to in the beginnings of the Civil War. It makes for interesting reading.

The Lincoln Cult's Latest Cover-Up

by Thomas J. DiLorenzo
by Thomas J. DiLorenzo
On July 19 the Associated Press and Reuter's reported an "amazing find" at a museum in Allentown, Pennsylvania: A copy of a letter dated March 16, 1861, and signed by Abraham Lincoln imploring the governor of Florida to rally political support for a constitutional amendment that would have legally enshrined slavery in the U.S. Constitution.
Actually, the letter is not at all "amazing" to anyone familiar with the real Lincoln. It was a copy of a letter that was sent to the governor of every state urging them all to support the amendment, which had already passed the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, that would have made southern slavery constitutionally "irrevocable," to use the word that Lincoln used in his first inaugural address. The amendment passed after the lower South had seceded, suggesting that it was passed with almost exclusively Northern votes. Lincoln and the entire North were perfectly willing to enshrine slavery forever in the Constitution. This is one reason why the great Massachusetts libertarian abolitionist Lysander Spooner, author of The Unconstitutionality of Slavery, hated and despised Lincoln and his entire gang.
The Lincoln cult knows about all of this, but works diligently to keep it out of view of the general public. The fact that news organizations reported the "find," however, creates a problem for the cult. A cover-up/excuse-making campaign must commence.
The document was found in the Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, Historical Society archives in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The director of the Society, Joseph Garrera, described in the press as "a Lincoln scholar," immediately announced that the document is not at all important, since such documents are "a dime a dozen."
Well, not really. Most of these kinds of documents have been meticulously whitewashed from the historical record. When they do surface and are made public, the Lincoln cult gets to work burying them in an avalanche of excuses designed to fog the real meaning of the documents in the minds of the average American. Garrerra's statement is the first attempt at this.
Every once in a while, though, a cult member (or an aspiring cult member) slips up and spills the beans. A recent example is the "political biography" of Lincoln recently published by the confessed plagiarist Doris Kearns-Goodwin entitled Team of Rivals. This is Goodwin's first publication on Lincoln, and she has apparently not been filled in on the standard modus operandi of cover-up and obfuscation that is the hallmark of "Lincoln scholarship." She discusses the above-mentioned "first thirteenth amendment" in some detail (as I do in my forthcoming book, Lincoln Unmasked: What You're Not Supposed to Know About Dishonest Abe, to be published in October).
Goodwin dug into the same original sources that all Lincoln scholars are familiar with, but unlike most others, she includes the information in her book. Not only did Lincoln support this slavery forever amendment, but the amendment was his idea from the very beginning. He was the secret author of it, orchestrating the politics of its passage from Springfield before he was even inaugurated. Not only that, but he also instructed his political compatriot, William Seward, to work on federal legislation that would outlaw the various personal liberty laws that existed in some of the Northern states. These laws were used to attempt to nullify the federal Fugitive Slave Act. As explained by Goodwin (p. 296): "He [Lincoln] instructed Seward to introduce these proposals in the Senate Committee of Thirteen without indicating they issued from Springfield. The first resolved that ‘the Constitution should never be altered so as to authorize Congress to abolish or interfere with slavery in the states.' Another recommendation that he instructed Seward to get through Congress was that ‘all state personal liberty laws in opposition to the Fugitive Slave Law be repealed.'"
Goodwin reveals all of this because the theme of her book is what a great political conniver and manipulator Lincoln was and this, of course, is a good example of such deceitfulness. In the eyes of a lifelong statist like Goodwin, lying, deception and fakery are praiseworthy traits for a politician. She praises him for his pro-slavery amendment because it supposedly "held the Republican Party together."
Lincoln's efforts in this regard were enormously popular in the North, and especially in Boston. A thoroughly racist society, the vast majority of northerners wanted slavery to persist in the South because that would keep black people in the South. They opposed the personal liberty laws for the same reason: They wanted any escaped slaves to be eliminated from their midst. Thus, Goodwin writes of how, when Seward made a speech announcing these two proposals (the constitutional amendment and the abolition of personal liberty laws) in Boston, "the galleries erupted in thunderous applause." Lincoln's political handler and campaign manager, the thoroughly corrupt New York City politician Thurlow Weed, "loved the speech," writes Goodwin, again making the point that the proposals were good politics because they "kept his fractious party together."
Lincoln's slavery forever amendment read as follows:
"No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State. (See U.S. House of Representatives, 106th Congress, 2nd Session, The Constitution of the United States of America: Unratified Amendments, Doc. No. 106-214).
In his first inaugural address Dishonest Abe explicitly supported this amendment while pretending that he hardly knew anything about it (i.e., lying). What he said was: "I understand a proposed amendment to the Constitution . . . has passed Congress, to the effect that the Federal Government shall never interfere with the domestic institutions of the states, including that of persons held to service." Then, while "holding such a provision to be implied constitutional law, I have no objection to its being made express and irrevocable."
Lincoln was not an abolitionist and, unlike Lysander Spooner, he believed that slavery was already constitutional. Nevertheless, he also favored making it "express and irrevocable."
The director of the museum in Allentown where Lincoln's letter to the governors was recently discovered made a feeble attempt to dismiss this entire episode as unimportant by saying that Lincoln was only being "pragmatic." Actually, exactly the opposite is true. Another reason why abolitionists like Spooner detested Lincoln, Seward, and the rest is that he understood that their opposition to slavery was always theoretical or rhetorical. They never came up with any kind of pragmatic plan to end slavery peacefully, as the real pragmatists — the British, Spanish, Dutch, French, and Danes — had done. Indeed, the political leaders of these countries could have provided the Lincoln regime with a detailed roadmap regarding how to go about it. But as Lincoln repeatedly said, his agenda was always, first and foremost, to destroy the secession movement, not to interfere with slavery. And as this episode reveals, for once his actions matched his words.
July 24, 2006
Thomas J. DiLorenzo [send him mail] professor of economics at Loyola College in Maryland and the author of The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War, (Three Rivers Press/Random House). His next book, to be published in October, is Lincoln Unmasked: What You're Not Supposed To Know about Dishonest Abe (Crown Forum/Random House).
Copyright © 2006
Thomas DiLorenzo Archives at

As you can see he is really not at all happy with a few Lincoln scholars.  But I gather that everyone has an opinion and this is his.

So there are many authors who do not fit the bill with standard operation procedure as set by many historians. So as we find a few renegades here and there it makes the playing field of history a lot more interesting. 

Remembering my old friend Ted Spangenberg on what would be his 95th birthday.

 Remembering my old friend Ted. I met Ted as a young man of 16 or so and knew him till the days of death. He was a wonder. A person that you rarely meet. He loved people and people loved him. He was not the cleanest, neatest, or well groomed person you ever met, but as far as I am concerned that had no importance at all.  He was to me a guardian angel who helped me through rough periods in my life. Because of him I am here today.

 It is also the anniversary of his death this month and I wanted to remember him as he has been gone now 18 years. Yet I still can hear that wonder laugh that was his and sense the ever powerful presence that was always his.

Dear Ted you are gone, but not at all forgotten...You will be with me till I assume room temperature. 

I found this wonderful article by another old friend i have not seen in ages, Lee Munsick.  Lee was a good friend too and part of the coterie that was in Ted's old piano shop. I  do not need to mention it as Lee does a wonderful job of explaining the times and the people who were there.  This piece was written 10 years ago but it is joy for me to read and remember all who are now long gone.

Ted Spangenberg, Player Piano HQ in Boonton, NJ
By Lee Munsick

Ed Chaban asked about this great little store on Main Street in
"Boonton USA" (the only Boonton there is).  "Ted" was Theodore
Spangenberg.  Originally he and Carl Thomsen were partners in the
store, until Carl passed away and Ted reigned unilaterally.

The shop sold player rolls, and used and rebuilt player pianos, and
parts.  But generally Ted was occupied with repairing and rebuilding
players, many kinds of talking machines, and often old radios.

Ted adored people, and loved to have a lot of them around.  Saturdays
were Open House time, and friends of Ted -- mostly in the player hobby
or business, but many just friends from many walks of life -- would
come for a little while or for hours.  They drank beer or soda, sang,
listened to the players or Ted's large collection of old recordings on
original machines, or joke around.  And laugh!  Ted's loud, infectious
laugh reverberated through the happy throng.  Like yawns, they were
quite contagious!

Every Autumn, Labor Day would see the big firemen's parade down the
street right in front of PPHQ.  There would always be a big crowd
in the store and on the sidewalk to enjoy the parade, and spend the
afternoon in conviviality, if not sobriety.  Christmas, New Year's Day,
Independence Day, and other holiday weekends would be the same:
a good excuse for a grand reunion.  Would that we could have another.

Ted Spangenberg had many friends and instigated many friendships.  I am
still in contact with many whom I got to know or know better there.

For several years in the 1970s, after the closing of our Yesteryear
Museum, many of our volunteer workers opened the Yesteryear Nostalgia
Shop.  It was next door to Player Piano Headquarters and across the
street from Olde Tyme Music Scene, run by our friend Don Donahue,
another lover of music and players and himself a bon vivant, wit,
and all-around great guy.  This conclave was a mecca for lovers of
recordings and mechanical music.

All are gone now.  Lost forever but long remembered is this marvelous
opportunity for many friends to congregate and enjoy the company of one
another.  I for one miss them all.

Ed, thanks for the memories.  Hope this fills you in and provides some
pleasant recollections for other readers who may have experienced
similar friendships and get-togethers in their own areas.

Lee Munsick

How did so many early recordings made in the 1890's and 1900's survive to see the 21st century?

When we look at an early recording made in let's say 1902. You think that this recording has survived 110 years?  How did such a thing happen?
These records were made of shellac and hard rubber and easily break. I know I have sadly done so a few times. But how did so many of these recordings survive. I have around 500 recordings made between 1895 and 1910. I often just marval at how they have survived to see the year 2012. I am not really speaking of cylinders right now as they are another amazing story in themselves. The composition of those early cylinders was something called metallic soap and they were very fragile and how they survived is amazing as well. But what I will focus on here is the more familiar disc record.

These records were Berliner, Climax  (1901-02) Columbia 1902 on, Eldridge Johnson's Improved Gramophone, Improved Record, Victor, Monarch, Deluxe records, Leeds and Zonophone.  Berliner was the first to make disc records commercially in and around 1894 in Washington DC, and by 1900 was out of the business. By 1902 you had Columbia making two different labels, Climax and Columbia, Zonophone started in 1899, and by this year the Victor Talking machine Company which had  several names before finally joining with Berliner in creating that company. Lastly Leeds and Catlin were a relatively patent-less company that kind of borrowed things from everyone till they were put out of business after an amazing run of years. 

When these records were first made they were the technological marvels of their time. But by the 2nd decade of the 20th century they were looked at as old and not too useful. Many were thrown out, but many as well were put away in attics, cellars or in a few cases remained right where they were.

By 1916-17 there were record drives to donate your old records for the war effort. Hundreds of thousands of records went to these drives. In the 1920's the radio became the main area of entertainment and more records and machines to play them were tossed. By the time of WW2 there were severe shellac shortages and there were massive drives to get all the olf records around the house and donate them... Millions of records went the way of the War Bond.  But still many survived.

By the 1950's and 60's anything old was looked at as useless and many phonographs, victrolas, graphonolas, amberolas, and the like went into the trash. I remember that myself when I was a kid seeing tons of great what we call antiques on the corner waiting for the junk man or the garbageman. at that time I knew no better. but my memories haunt me today.

One of the last indignities offered to these early recordings was to make dishes or ash trays out of them!  This was done a lot in the 1950's and 60's. I remember seeing many a record dish or ash tray at various peoples homes.  But still many survived!

So after all of this why did hundreds of thousands of records and cylinders from the 1890's, 1900's survive to see another century?  I guess it was because of a few things. One reason would probably be that who ever owned them did not care to get rid of them. Another was that they had forgot they even had them. Lastly, many people saw that is was wise not to destroy recordings from it very dawn.

  I guess I can say jokingly that there were a few unpatriotic souls out there who were not going to give a thing to the war effort or they still liked listening to Harry MacDonough, Sousa's Band, George Washington Johnson, The Metropolitan Orchestra,  Bert Shepard, Fred Hagar, and a bunch of other very early recording artists.

 But what ever the reason I give a big yell of thanks. Because when I listen to a record from the dawn of sound recording, I am listening to a time capsule from a time a place so far away it is hard to dream of.  I was listening today to an Climax Record from 1901 and I could hear Fred Hagar who was the conductor say ready 1..2..3   and the band played.....

So I enjoy my records and will do my best to take care of them to make sure another amazed person will write what I do at the dawn of the 22nd century as he or she listens to a recording made by that time 200 years earlier and marvels at how it survived the ages.

 Cause as much as I like them, they will long outlast me and my times. Just like they have the times in which they were that marvel of the age   I wonder how many tapes, CD's, DVD's or chips will be working like these true amazing recordings of over 100 years ago when they reach that age?  I kind of doubt they will as they are more complex and require much more to make them work.  The old records of the 1895 - 1910 period were simple. But in the words of many a wise person ...The simpler it is the better it will work. And in this case will keep working for centuries to come....But how they made it to this point in which they are treasured...still so amazes me.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

One of my favorite quotes about liberty and its price.

I have always been fond of this quote by Benjamin Franklin

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

This quote is as true today as when it was first uttered by Franklin in the late 1750's.

What of this republic? What is left of our liberties and our freedoms. What brought this about?

It is often interesting to see people who learn something about the Constitution or the Bill of Rights for the first time. I see them nod their heads in understanding and confirm their intense belief that these documents mean what they once did.

However, they do not.

First off we have a sad majority of our population that does not understand or really give a damn about the documents from which we are governed. If they would give pause, and look at what has happened in the last 215 years it would be a vast education.

 It did not take long after the formation of the United States government for it to have its first major Constitutional crisis. The Alien and Sedition acts enforced by the Federalists at the end of the 18th century was the first time our rights were not as they had been.
Starting in 1798 we were involved in a undeclared war with France. It was not something we wished to escalate. However many in the Republican side and the Federalist side wished too. John Adams was president and he stood firm. He kept us from going to war and saved this nation. But by doing so destroyed his political future. He and the Federalists enacted the Alien and Sedition act. Which made it a crime to do anything that could be construed as an act against the government at large. It removed the right of Habeas Corpus for many of the new nation. In fact many were jailed and some died in Jail over this removal of protection. It became a matter of protection of the government over the seditious actions of the press and enemies of the government. This was the view of course of the government.

In 1800 Adams was defeated for re-election and Thomas Jefferson came in and restored the liberties removed previously. It was not popular, but was it necessary?

Benjamin Franklin's grandson Benjamin Franklin Bache was arrested for writing some outrageous news stories against the Federalists. He was arrested and died in prison. We rarely hear of that do we? But if you attack the commander and chief in a time of crisis when you have no protection, tread lightly.

Our liberties remained the same through the 19th century till 1860.

It all changed and this entire country would change with the actions that would take place in 1861. The new President A. Lincoln goaded the south to fight. He wanted a war, he wanted to change the country, he wanted to get rid of the Africans, he wanted to create a new environment.  But he had no idea the Pandora's box he was opening would so change the nation.

As the war started he suspended the writ of Habeas Corpus and for intents suspended the Constitution as a whole. This meant in fact he would be an unchecked dictator. He arrested and jailed without trial over 13,000 people from the north!

People who were seditious to the welfare of the government would be jailed and the key would be thrown away. Many died in jails, just for expressing an opinion.

 By 1864 Lincoln was running for President again, but not under the Republican party, but his own party called the Union Party. There was no Constitution to really support or protect anyone from this dictator. If you spoke against him often you would find yourself in jail. The soldiers were encouraged to vote only for Lincoln in 1864 and there is evidence of vote tampering.

Lincoln took over for a 2nd un-regulated administration and was assassinated. Soon he was judged wonderful and all of this was forgotten.  Pity is was as we think this man was without sin. Lincoln died as he lived, as a dictator.

The Constitution did not get its power back till 1866.

By this time the Congress was reinventing America. The country founded in 1787, died in 1866. A new nation was established in the 1866-68 period. In this new order we have the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments which changed the entire tone of the Constitution and gave citizenship to every person born in the United States. That was not the rule till the late 1860's . The 14th amendment was the ground breaker and is to this day used in more cases than nearly any other. However through all of this we could inflict the Asian exclusion Act?

The country returned to a less free society and then till the early 20th century remained constant. Then in 1913 came the first major blow. The 16th Amendment covering Income Tax.

Then by 1916 we were on the side lines of an international war. The United States had no reason at all to get involved in WWI. None what so ever! If we had been honest the Germans would not have sunk our ships. But we lied about everything we did. We lied as badly as the British.

They had troublesome people who did not mind hiding the true like Winston Churchill who wanted war and wanted the USA to enter it. So Germany could be put down. This was just silly European tribal warfare. I am really of a belief that Europe would have been better off if Germany had won.

 But we lied to Germany all the time and blamed Germany for attacking us for lying. The poor leader we had at this time was Woodrow Wilson who was not equipped to understand the crisis. He was a fool hardy ass Theodore Roosevelt.

This vicious, hateful man did many things. He declared war, he hated the blacks and segregated the military, he lied about the USA's involvement with England. He basically entered a war for which the United States had no reason to be involved. There was not one issue of national interest in this stupid war.

 And we went and Wilson suspended Habeas Corpus and everyone that he did not like was on his hit list. For Wilson that was a lot as he hated so many people. So many were arrested and thrown in jail and the key was tossed away. If you were against the war, or a pacifist, or a communist, or a socialist, or a free thinker, you were the enemy. The war was to make sure the allies defeated the Germans. For what reason we really cannot say. This war is the war that destroyed what was left of the decency of the human race.

Being that Wilson was from the south he hated the blacks and brought back as much of his warped southern views into their existence. All blacks were kicked out of government jobs. Removed from as many positions as Wilson could and they were replaced by white men. No rights what so ever.

Wilson was a very sick man and his policies through that sickness affected and would in time ruin much of what had been built up to that time.  Wilson was finally and fortunately gone. The world was a mess and Germany was defeated, raped, ruined, and demoralized by people no worse then they were. There was few good things to say about the French, the English, or for that matter the Americans. The Germans were no worse than any of them. It was a useless war over no enemy...Just the enemy within. The government now would take control.

All came back in the 1920's under an amazingly strong and robust economy by 1923 in the administration of Warren G Harding.

But by the 1930's it was made worse and weaker by Hoover and Roosevelt.  By 1939 the actions of Churchill, Orlando, Lloyd George, Clemenceau, Wilson, and a host of other weak although somewhat good meaning leaders had ruined the world and created Adolf Hitler.

By 1938, we were ready and Roosevelt was ready to start a new war. Churchill was back and war came, Hitler was a mess and was pushed on by Churchill to start a greater war. Soon the war came.

Roosevelt once again removed Habeas Corpus and imprisoned Japanese Americans. Where were the interment camps for Germans, Italians, and all the others against the Allies?  Just the Japanese.  We took away many peoples rights and removed much of what the Constitution had as rights. WW2 was a ugly war from every side and 1945 brought about its end. Finally we let the Japanese go.

Harry S. Truman started the Cold War and poorly orchestrated much of what followed. We made the USSR our enemy. We created our Military Industrial Complex from which we have not yet had the chance to escape from. We worked on dividing Germany and blamed our enemies and created NATO to control Europe.

Now in a post 9-11 world we have lost our writ of Habeas Corpus again. Many are in jails without court trials. The keys have been thrown away. Now we have the Patriot Act  which has for many replaced the rights placed in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I can see as this goes on Adams, Lincoln, Wilson, Roosevelt, Truman and all of our current Presidents smile. As the government is in control. The 4th Amendment is now greatly weakened as is the 8th. We have weakened Magna Carta.   All are just in name now. They hardly have the power to fight against this new world order.

 We are on George Orwell time now....  But for all of you who know the Latin of the term mentioned here many times. Where indeed is the body now?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Oh our honest and gifted Presidents. Another little chat or rant and a glass of scotch.

I thought I would rant a bit more over history and this time the presidents. There is much to say and much to ponder. But what I was thinking, who really falls into that category...honest?

Oh how we hear about Washington and Lincoln. Well they are industries that make millions of dollars and to be honest most of these people involved in and selling the legacy of these presidents could care less what is truth or untruth. What they care for is will it sell and make money.

 So you will see Washington and Lincoln on sale like cattle in the field. Washington was not really honest, nor was Lincoln. But to be honest (and I will use that word a lot) it really does not matter. No one really cares. Those that know are just belittled by the Church of Lincoln or Washington. Cause those that belong to these churches know there is a lot of money to be made on the fake reputations created about these icons.

Was Lincoln really for freedom and equality for the slaves? Of course not! He said many times and to the discomfort of his supporters that the two races and peoples are not equal. he saw no reason why blacks should live in the country
 He wanted to remove most of the slaves and many free blacks from the country and colonize them somewhere, well anywhere but not the United States. He was still fiddling that idea around in 1865. This gets a little troublesome in regards to Lincoln.

Washington was a strong supporter of slavery. His wife who owned more of the slaves at Mount Vernon than George and was a strong and ardent task master. When Washington was in Philadelphia he would have his slaves rotated every few months so they would not get their freedom.

 In Philadelphia at the time if a slave stayed in the city for a certain length of time they could become free. Washington made sure none of his slaves were able to gain their freedom except for a few that escaped. When this happened he put the Federal authorities on the hunt. A strong misuse of Federal power.

 He did, in his will give some of his slaves freedom on his death and most of the rest on the death of his wife. Now I wish you to think about this for a moment. Can you imagine that you are a slave and have the chance for freedom when Washington dies.

But you find out that you will not be free till Mrs.Washington is dead.......hmmmmm

Guess who spent the rest of her life hiding in the top floor of Mount Vernon and keeping a food taster.  She finally died in 1802, and many were freed. They were all waiting.

Martha Washington also destroyed almost every letter written between her and her husband. So we really are missing massive parts to the puzzle called George Washington.  Was he always honest. Of course not. But the myth and legacy that surrounds Washington and Lincoln is nauseatingly full of trash!

 I have mentioned that Lincoln was as honest as Warren G. Harding, and I think this is quite true. I feel that this is an honest statement and perhaps it is a little unfair to Harding.

But if you think about it Harding was not really too dishonest. Not as dishonest as Lincoln, but he did lie about romantic involvements.  This is part of the reason that Harding is thought of as a bad President. Cause he had a mistress and Tea Pot Dome of which he probably knew little about and trusted those around him to take care of.  But many knock Harding just because he had a wondering eye.

 If that was bad and causes Harding to be disliked, we had better put JFK right in there with him. Cause JFK could not keep it in his pants!  His actions made Harding look like an school boy.  Is this a problem, well if it was not for JFK then it should not be for Harding. Harding was just too naive to believe that his friends would do anything dishonest.  But he knew on his final trip something was wrong..He was found upset and walking the decks of a ship he was on  and said this "My enemies I can handle, but it is my damn friends who keep up all night". I pity Harding, I think he was a good man, and perhaps a more honest man than we let on. But he was eaten alive by politics and the men around him

In a sense that is like Grant who ranks pretty much like Harding. Although he has raised up a little. I cannot see why?  If we wish to talk about the most corrupt administration I can not think of one more corrupt than Grant's  Why his administration made Nixon's look above board and proper. It was told because of Grant's Civil War actions his standing has gone up and since the anniversary of the war is taking place..The Civil War has nothing to do with Grant's standing as president. If a historian thinks it does he or she should hang up their hats and go home.

 Grant was a nice guy, nothing earth shattering about his personality. But he let everyone do as they should and let them control their own areas and they made his administration the most corrupt in American History.
 Perhaps one of the most honest presidents we have had was John Adams. However he was so honest he was eaten alive by all the politicians around him. He was the last real honest politician to be in that house.

 His son John Quincy was nearly as honest but he was also destroyed by politicians and his deal with Henry Clay does look a touch suspicious. Although perhaps Adams did not see it that way. But if there are issues with it Adams does not help us and gives a slight clue which includes the fact he did not write about it at all in his diary. That says something!

JQA was perhaps our most successful ex president. He was in many ways responsible for gaining the freedom of the Amistad slaves, destroying the Gag Rule (which would lite the fuse for civil war), the Smithsonian Institution, and single handedly bringing the question of slavery and its death in the United States into national prominence. When he died he was a national hero.

Few realize that the only funeral that was near as massive as Lincoln's was John Quincy Adams. His funeral route brought his body all over the northeast United States. He was even laid out in Independence Hall with the Liberty Bell next to him. For by this time the Liberty Bell was starting to be looked at as a symbol of freedom and equality for the slave and the term liberty bell rang true to that cause.

 Adams was honored from state to state till he was finally interred in the churchyard in his town. Even his enemies admired the old man...Old man eloquent. It is remembered as the members of the House came to his final burial, one of the old champions of the south who disagreed and would not speak to Adams. But as he left his grave he said gently, "Goodbye old man".

  Adams was a champion to the down trodden and voiceless. He fought against slavery when Lincoln was trying to find his ideas of what he should support. What made Lincoln very successful in the civil war with many of his actions was in following the actions of Adams.

Adams laid the road map that would lead  a way to free the slaves. By using the war powers act. You see Adams knew that the nation was going to break into Civil War and he wrote many ideas and proposals on how to deal with it. No one studied this more than Abraham Lincoln.

There were some real weak kneed presidents. There were some real losers and alcoholics. there were a few that had no right being in that presidential chair. Some tried and became more than what any believed they could be. Some were pathetic going in and going out. Some were crooks, some were just not quite bright enough. Lastly there were those who made remarkable changes both good and bad.  But it is hard to really see these men as being honest. Some tried I will agree. But most were above all just politicians. Need I say more?

I was asked once about who was my favorite president. I hymned and hawed and mentioned that I liked several parts of a few of them but, not the entire package. I find Lincoln very fake, same as Washington.

 We are doing a pretty good job in making JFK saintly and a good or even excellent president.  Although that is not really the case, he comes across a good president, but certainly not a great one. But he is also a industry and icon too. He was assassinated and he received martyrdom with the later 20th century crowd.

However, I do not see anything honoring James A. Garfield or William McKinley. I would be willing to say that McKinley was a better president than at least 25 of the others. Perhaps better than even more than more than that. But he is not an icon, in fact, most people have no idea who he is. Today we live in a media age and because of several issues Lincoln gets coverage, sainthood, and makes a hell of a lot of money  for people.

In our church of politics

Washington who is God the father, Lincoln who is the Jesus figure in our political church...the virgin mother is a hard one as who would remain a virgin for long with a bunch of politicians around?

Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Richard M. Nixon, William Jefferson Clinton, George W. Bush  were among some of the 15 least honest or least sincere presidents. I will not comment on the present occupant except a little bit later as I never do that for sitting presidents. But these are among the more popular of the bunch. So maybe dishonesty is a good business.

I would say that many of our presidents of the media age were and needed to be at times very dishonest. The art of politics and telling the truth are two different and separate issues. They both go in different directions. That is why I really go crazy over the various cults of Lincoln, Washington, JFK, FDR, Reagan,  and for now the silliness over the most recent occupant of the White House, that is all I will say.

But lets talk of our gifted presidents. Let's get out of the thick of politics and see them in a different way Did any of them have special talents?

Well George Washington had a gift for grabbing property.  But George was an excellent dancer and also a great talent for telling very naughty and graphic stories..  He loved to tell jokes about sex and body parts. He was a Virginia planter you know.

John Adams was a talented thinker and writer. He was also a collector of Chinese porcelains. He was a gifted and very funny story teller.

Thomas Jefferson was  a great collector of many things and also an inventor.  He was a collector of just about anything and was well trained and well read man. He also had a talent for playing the violin. He did not speak much as he had a speech impediment. He craftily solved having to speak anywhere and before Congress by having the State of the Union address read by members of the house, not by the president. Therefore he would never have to speak. It would not be read by a sitting president before congress till Woodrow Wilson.

John Quincy Adams was in many ways as gifted and inquisitive as Jefferson. He was also a great thinker, mathematician, astronomer, botanist, and had a wonderful talent for exercise.

Lincoln of course was a charming story teller and his stories were often as raunchy as Washington's. But we often forget those stories. He started one story about a naked woman on a horse and was interrupted and never finished it.  One can only guess where that story was going.

The rest of the batch through this time till we come to Ulysses S. Grant who was a wonderful artist.  he could paint really well. In fact at West Point his highest grades were in art!

James A Garfield was a gifted linguist and writer. He was the only minister we ever had in the White House as president.  If he would have been a great influence to the office we do not know. But he was one of the greatest intellects to occupy the office.

Chester A. Arthur had a wonderful talent for fashion and decor.

Theodore Roosevelt was a hunter, botanist, nature lover, collector of this and that and more. Also no one promoted themselves more than he. He owned the word "I"  The best thing said about Theodore Roosevelt was by Henry Adams who said "Roosevelt talks too much, and when he talks it is all about himself".

William Howard Taft was an amazingly good dancer.

Woodrow Wilson was a great dancer, singer and comedian as long as no one was looking.

Warren G. Harding was devoted pacifist and would go out of his way not to hurt a soul. He was also a wonderful writer. He also played the Tuba!

Herbert Hoover was a collector of Chinese art and spoke fluent Chinese and made sure he used it with his wife to annoy reporters..

FDR was a collector and expert on ships and maritime history.

Harry S. Truman played the piano.

Dwight D. Eisenhower was an artist.

Richard Nixon played the violin and piano and even wrote a few pieces.

Bill Clinton played the saxophone.

Not an amazingly talented bunch, but once again they were politicians, not artists.

So once again I will take a sip of scotch ponder some more history. There is so much more to say about presidents. But these are just a few thoughts of mine...Cheers.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A few ramblings over scotch and history on a Saturday night. Just a few little random bits on history for fun.

I am sitting here over a nice glass of scotch and have decided to just ramble a little on history. There are so many great topics and ideals that one can never cover them all.  If I just limit myself to American history I will, however, I may jump here and there as I chatter here. The United States is a most unique country. It really was not founded as we like to say. It was not a great leap for democracy, it was a republic for the well to do and those of property.

 George Washington of course from the time he was a teenager was interested in gaining land and so be bought and acquired through various means property in which to build an empire. I am always reminded by Gore Vidal who wrote in an essay on Washington that he was America's first millionaire, but also invented a plow that was to heavy to be pulled by an Ox. Jefferson his close living founding father and Washington strongly disliked each other. In time they would refuse to even accept each others existence. George had told his wife Martha, that he never wanted that man on his property. Oh how Washington hated Jefferson and the feeling was mutual.

 While those founding fathers stood glaring at each other we had many others. The Lee's were quite powerful in Virginia. It is also very important to mention that it was Richard Henry Lee's proposition that truly lead to the Declaration of Independence of which he rarely gets the credit. So many many are in a rush to congratulate Thomas Jefferson for basically making the entire document, they forget to remember he was part of the system and not one of the more powerful ones either. Lee's document is what got the ball rolling!

 As we think of founding fathers lets remember a totally forgotten one.  Can you think of one of the spark plugs of the beginnings of the revolution that died right at the beginning?   Can you think of who this is? Considered one of the most leaders of the revolution.  Dr. Joesph Warren....I know you are saying ..who?   But he was truly one of the early great leaders of the American Revolution.  He was also a doctor so he felt he could also be a medic.  However he never got the chance.  He died at the battle of Bunker Hill (Breeds Hill) and died there.   I was surprised to see a lovely portrait of Warren over the main mantelpiece at the Adams homestead in Quincy Mass. He was in a way one of the few of the founders and starters of the rebellion who not only fought politically and also on the field.

It is time he honor this great man. For history has not! It honors cowards and backstabbers like Jefferson who was of little use after the Declaration of Independence. In fact when the British came, he was running.
Dr Joseph Warren one of the greats. Remember him, have one of your kids or grandchildren do a report on him. He deserves it.  He was of course a very good friend of the Atlas of American Independence, John Adams. Who was also so important.

 But lets leave these people and remember the war was fought and won by men.  Men who were black and white, Who could read or not, had a dream of which none of them could live, But they gave their lives and sacred fortunes far more than any man in Independence Hall.

Sometimes when I walk through Philadelphia I walk through Washington Park. Few really know it but Washington Park is a graveyard filled to the brim with those who fought and died for that dream called independence. There is the tomb of the unknown soldier, and another statue of Washington. To be honest everyone buried in that square is an unknown soldier.  These men and women I am sure died for something that as non land owners, they would not have enjoyed had they lived. But here is where they rest after dying on the field of battle, of disease, or from being held in jail by the British.

It sometimes also reminds me of Boston. I know several things started in the Boston area, but few people realize that the largest battle by the Continental Army and the British took place in New York City!  The largest convoy of ships till D-Day was brought onto that small island city. So while Boston is nice and important it was not where a lot happened. It took place south of Boston. But very much like Valley Forge they have advertised it very well.

Independence Hall is rarely talked about when it was under British control. It was a hospital/jail/headquarters. It was filled with many of the dead and wounded and those dying.

 All of the effects of the Congress were burned to keep the building warm. That is why there is nothing that exists from the time of the Declaration of Independence. It was all destroyed, burned, or thrown out. The only existing thing from that time in Independence Hall is the ink stand. That is it. The chair that is there and mentioned it was used by Washington is from the time of the Constitutional convention.But outside of that pretty much everything save for a chair or two was destroyed.

 The building was pretty messed up too. Before leaving this building and this period of time it is important to mention that the big signing of the Declaration  that is seen in many paintings never took place and that the tower that is such a part of the building was not in place till the 1820's,  it was not there in 1776.  Much is not as it appears.  Just about everything in the signing room is restored or redone. There is very little left of anything there.  But it is where it happened.  But if you never know you would think it all original and it is not even the windows are new. In fact the oldest glass in Philadelphia in one of these early buildings is in Carpenters Hall. Independence Hall is made of the original brick but the interior is just a guess as to how it looked.

I often think of history and what it has become when I see the Morristown, New Jersey historic site. This is where Washington's men suffered the worst winter of the war, not Valley Forge. So many died there. But all I hear is Valley Forge. Washington's troops were there but it was not that bad a winter. But man they have advertised the place ever since and if you left it to their interpretation it was practically the worse winter in history. It was not and of course as I have written where George Washington prayed. That did not happen and was made up by Parson Weems. Of course if you wish to believe that story you should believe the other one he made up....the cherry tree.

The American revolution gets a lot of press when it comes to war and battles. But we really do not hear too much about the War of 1812. Well one reason is that we do talk about it much is we did not win it. We will hear all the great things about the war except we really get kind of foggy when we start talking about its end. We just don't for very obvious reasons. Also the White House and Capital were burned down by the British. But why did they do it?  Cause we had gone to Canada and burned down their government buildings!

Perhaps few of us really think of the largest riots in our history. In this day and age we may think that it took place in the 1960's  or even more recently. But not so, the largest riots and the most deadly riots in American history took place in New York City. The Draft Riots of 1863 were the most bloody and the most violent. It was an Irish riot and it was quelled by the New York 69th Division, which incidentally was an Irish division. There was some major issues with that whole scene and close to a thousand people were killed.

The USS Maine of gets talked about a little or at all when we talk about the Spanish American War but we never mention how it sank and why?  It seems it was an internal explosion due to faulty design. The Maine was raised in early 1912 and sunk in deep water. Hopefully never to be seen again. However it was rediscovered in the late 1990's on sonar.  But remember William Randolph Hearst pushed for and got his war. His paper said it was sunk due to an underwater mine put there by the Spanish. Well this was parroted by Theodore Roosevelt who was owned by the Hearst Newspaper and war was declared and we got Cuba. It is very interesting that Hearst built a massive monument in New York City to the memory of the USS Maine...Maybe he felt a little guilty.

I often wonder about the wisdom and sanity of Woodrow Wilson. I have some real issues with him and his desire to get us into the war in Europe. He was an elitist and a historian. One who was really problematic in his views. He was quite racist, he was quite unable to be warm and interesting to anyone outside of his family. He was a quiet scotch drinker, however sometimes he drank a touch more than needed.

 He was in pretty bad physical shape. He had weakness in the limbs, had suffered some really bad nervous collapses in his younger days. He was not one to compromise with, there was one way, his!

He had suffered from several problems leading up to the famous peace conference in 1919. He became the prophet of peace, in an atmosphere where he was not wanted or listened to. He had several small strokes while there and got weirder by the day. Would require his room to be completely re modeled as in its furniture every few days. He had his 14 points in which had ended the war but were not to be a major part of the treaty. His naive nature led him to be led down a path of complete foolishness.  He would leave the conference a broken man.

 He would return to America and was completely out of touch with what was happening in Washington nor would he compromise. So he fought, had a massive stroke, sat and fumed in the White House at cars that drove too fast and the world was set to fight again in just 20 years.  We had no reason to go into that war in Europe. It was a fool hearty scheme. But Wilson's idealism led us to war were we need not have been. The war to end all wars started hundreds!

Lastly as I ramble here a little more before closing.  I wanted to say I really am concerned with how we are dealing with the Constitution and its upkeep. We have slowly created so many laws and made that document something akin to Swiss Cheese. There seems to be a crisis every year now on this or that and also the definition of many of its laws bring back a statement made by Bill Clinton..."It depends on what the definition of is, is"  I am waiting and I am sure there there will be several new crisis on the horizon.  I can see a battle over the Constitution and what it says in the not too distant future.  I can promise that this battle will be colorful and most interesting.  Well back to my scotch, good night.

Napoleon's bed is in Harlem?

Today if you go to the Morris Jumel Mansion on 160th street in Harlem you will be in for a pleasant surprise.  You will see a house that is the oldest in Manhattan. Built in 1765 and has had a series of owners. Perhaps none more colorful than Madame Eliza Jumel . Born in 1775 she started life as a prostitute and worked her way up to marrying a wealthy win merchant named Jumel. They bought this house in 1810 and started their lives there.

Within a few years they were in France and very friendly, especially she with Napoleon. So much so that when she left in 1816 at the request of the King, Louis the XVIII she left with many pieces of furniture that was given to her by Napoleon. She said she offered to take him to New York City but he declined. But in 1816 she came to the house and set up her new furnishings.

 Interestingly she left without her husband, but continued to spend his money lavishly. So in her bed room on the second floor of the house she set up her Napoleonic furnishings and would have them throughout her life. In fact dying in Napoleons bed in 1865.

                          The Napoleon-Jumel bed in its rightful place in her bedroom in Harlem

The house went to family who in turn sold it who in turn another family member bought it. In 1903 it became a historic site for the state of New York. It was after this that the bed was sold in 1915-16. In 1946 there was a massive hunt for Napoleons bed and it was found and returned to the historic mansion. So today you can see the bed that Napoleon slept in, and Eliza Jumel slept in, and perhaps they did in it together a few times too.

 But all in all you need not go to France to see Napoleons bed, but a subway ride up to Harlem.  

One friends comments to me about us in the world..Why do so many in the world laugh at us? Cause we are too damn stupid!

I had a detailed and rather animated conversation with a friend of mine the other day. He was telling me about how stupid we are as a people. How we are the laughing stock of most of Europe and how we have a holier than thou look at the world and to the people in it with our thoughts of life, religion and our lacking of understanding of how much of the world works.

I admit we are a bit backward. We have the lowest IQ of any industrialized nation.  We have our silly religions and condemn those who think different. We have a large segmented area of really dumb people. Who do not give a damn. We have a nation of stupidly and morbidly obese people who waddle into McDonald's and any other place that gratifies the needs of fat people and cram tons of food into themselves.

 We even had fat morons who sued McDonald's for getting fat. These were three five hundred pound kids! Well McDonald's helped make them fat, but their families helped make them stupid!! Cause McDonald's did not push that food down their fat throats.

  We have a large segment of the population of this country that has not read a book in ages or perhaps ever. We have a large number of people in this country that cannot read or write! We have a large segment of the population that eats to excess and is dangerously fat! I believe Alabama is the fattest state in the Union. Someone should get in there and educate the people. So they just don't eat like cattle. Just walk down the street and see how many huge people are around. This is all going to cost lots of money in the future and this country cannot afford it. How many children do you see with fat belly's from eating too much and obviously unchecked by the parents!

 This is a scary epidemic. The incidence of childhood diabetes is off the charts!

His comment on the ignorance of the people of the United States is a joke around the world is scary. We had better start trying to repair the damage we have done.  40% of the people in this country think the bible is correct literally! that is pretty frightening to be honest.  It is something that baffles the rest of the world. To be honest I think it baffles most people who think.

Well religion attracts those who wish to be told what to think.

 Let's try to encourage intellect in our society as a whole. There comes a time when we need to leave the clueless behind and encourage growth and intellect.  We cannot remain stupid forever and need to grow beyond the dumb and lost in our society. If it requires leaving those who do not wish to think behind, so be it!
Let's start to push for better schools and if kids not interested in it and cause problems, put them directly in the army!  Start a junior corps in the army and whip some discipline into them. If they do not get it there they never will.

 Intellect requires intellect. We cannot think this way if we allow ourselves to think inside the box all the time.  I am for being all outside of it. In fact throw the damn box away!

.We truly do need to repair this country from its people, specially those who care nothing about advancing and improving themselves. Take a look at the ocean liner the SS United States in Philadelphia. It is a damn wreck and looks like it wants to sink. It is very much like the conditions of the United States itself.  If we do not do much of anything about many of our problems we will not have a country for much longer. Upkeep is sadly needed for this country, before it too sinks.

I am ready to move on beyond this madness and want to start to look, think, imagine , dare, invent, try, improve, educate, thin down, and restore this country to what it once was. Start pushing people to think , write a blog and make people think, talk to people and make them think and lastly think and improve yourself.   I will and I will try.   How about You?

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Was Aaron Burr really as bad as we say he was? He was not in any way as corrupt as Hamilton or Jefferson

The mention of Aaron Burr will start many a historian babbling or arguing over this or that.  But to be honest was he as bad as history has made him out to be?  I can say I think not.

Yet he suffered some of the worst character assassination by the likes of Jefferson and Hamilton. Both were very happy to destroy him. As neither of them liked him, let alone each other. Sadly in our day and age we have a lot of people who are not concerned with the truth in history. It is what they feel is important to express. So we have a lot of people who are clueless to the facts and a lot of historians who have for two centuries have messed this up or just decided to tell it as they wanted too.

Jefferson was one of the authors of the Declaration of Independence. Hamilton was instrumental in our money system and getting the Constitution pushed through. There were few people who hated each other more than these two. However, there was one that both equally disliked and went out of their way to destroy.

 Hamilton was not the angel we have made him into. He was an annoying, troublesome, pushy, often dishonest, and arrogant person. To be honest there were quite a few happy after the duel.

Jefferson was also much like this, but was too much a coward to do it himself. So he would hire people to slander you and destroy you.

Burr was no angel either. He was everything that Hamilton was, except smarter.

 He was wise to the nastiness and backbiting that was Jefferson. Burr was royally screwed by Jefferson in 1800 and also in his fact finding mission by Mexico. Jefferson had him charged with treason for doing what Jefferson asked. It was designed to destroy Burr and it did. It was a trap.

 Just to make this clear Jefferson had brought him up on Treason charges before he was even charged with it! As he was cleared countless times of all charges before this. Jefferson even  put the entire power of the presidential office into this. He even tried to override the Supreme Court! There is more to this than just treason, this was political assassination. Jefferson was obsessed with destroying Burr.

 John Adams who liked Burr had less than fond things to say of Jefferson who would ruin his political career too with criminal activity. He put it this way when describing Jefferson...."Jefferson has many good qualities, but one of them is not integrity".

Jefferson wanted to make sure Burr would never be President. So he ruined the life of Burr and a few others while he was at it.  No one seems to be concerned that the 2nd in command of the Burr mission was Andrew Jackson. No one dares suggest that he was like Burr. But he was. He was a great man too.

The entire mission was a farce and it made sure that Madison would be President  in 1809. Even though Jefferson gave his word to Burr that he should allow Jefferson to be President first and then he would support Burr after.  Jefferson who made Richard Nixon look honest was nothing more than a political hack.

Hamilton while close to Washington and found a way to manipulate him was in the words of Washington's most recent biographer  Ron Chernow, who said in a recent lecture amazingly after writing a book about Hamilton that...."I never realized how annoying Hamilton was". Hamilton was for  Hamilton and the rich. He was an elitist, although he was an illegitimate child from the islands of southeast of the United States. He was on the side of the rich. He did not care at all for the common man.  He used Washington like a tool and pressured the poor old man to do as he suggested.

Now he was a great man, just like Burr and Jefferson. He was very brilliant, but had a bad case of foot in mouth. He would talk about everyone and everything. He was a person who had a very loose tongue. I guess to put it best, Hamilton liked to show off. He was also like a nosy little old lady wanting to know the gossip of everyone and be sure to pass it on to his political advantage.  He was no more moral than Burr.  One has to remember by the time of the duel much of his career was over due to his philandering and really mind boggling affairs.

One has to remember that when ever Martha Washington would see a Tom Cat prowling around, she would refer to it as Alexander Hamilton!

  He had no problems trying to make Burr look like the scum of the earth.  His statements about Burr, many just quite rude were just out of line and caused a lot of trouble and embarrassment for Burr.It was all to destroy Burr and Burr did much to make Hamilton look bad as well by outsmarting him.

Burr what did he do?  He was a revolutionary war hero...No one likes to talk about that. He was instrumental in helping Washington escape from Manhattan. This did not endear him to Washington as he knew that Burr had saved his ass. What is most amazing that after saving Washington's army, which included Hamilton by the way, Burr was never promoted or recognized by Washington or Hamilton for saving their ass!  How rude and insulting was that?    I am very much of the belief that there needs to be a statue of Burr in Manhattan. For no matter how everyone tries to wiggle out of it, the American Revolution has few heroes greater than Burr. Lastly when talking about Revolutionary War activities Hamilton was a lightweight!

Burr was a great leader in New York. He was the first to start a Anti Slavery program. He supported rights for woman for equality,education.and the right to vote. He created the first fresh water system for New York and the first bank for the common man, Started what would become Tammany Hall which worked on supporting the common man.  These actions were the kind that upset the apple cart of the folks like Hamilton who would copy what Burr did and advertise it to his advantage.  One has to remember also for a while Hamilton had slaves. Burr always was anti-slavery.

But Burr also was a crafty, sometimes dishonest, backstabbing politician, amazingly like Jefferson and Hamilton.  I am not saying that Burr was great and without sin. He was just like Jefferson and Hamilton. That's all.

 But this burns some historians nerves. Cause they love to make heroes and villains. We have made Jefferson into something far more special than he was.  I would love to tear down that stupid monument to him in Washington DC. What a damn farce!

We have found a way to make Hamilton look good. That was not easy.
Hamilton achieved sainthood after the duel. Everyone forget what a nasty bastard he had been and joined the chorus of huzzahs.  By doing this there needed to be a lot of trash swept under the rug! Also due to Hamilton's affairs he was blackmailed and was broke.  In so many ways he keeps making Burr look good.

Hamilton did everything in his power to ruin Burr. It was the stupid duel that was pushed for by Hamilton that would ruin Burr. Hamilton made sure all of his papers said all the right things to make Burr look bad. Burr had tried several times to just ask Hamilton to apologize and stop the duel...But Hamilton insisted and refused to apologize.  This duel along with Jefferson's awful lack of decency ruined Burr forever.

John Adams had little good to say about Hamilton. Hamilton had worked hard to defeat Adams and had corrupted Adams own cabinet !  This was a vicious and loathsome act, but fitting for someone of Hamilton's character. He also forced on to Adams a commission for himself to make him commander of the Army and made rather feeble minded and tired George Washington to require it.  By doing this and trying to force Adams to go to war with France which was insane!   Lastly by directing Adams cabinet to do as he said, not the President!  And we think Burr was bad?

Jefferson hired a man to write horrific articles on Adams to challenge his sanity and his lack of wanting to understand France. This was worthy of impeachment for Jefferson!  Jefferson would go out of his way time and time again to undermine Adams administration.  Was Burr this bad as well?

But John Adams survived these two creatures of political corruption and saved us from a war with France and in a way saved the entire country from what would have been ruin. He was able to smell a rat on these two occasions.  Washington would die and Adams would remove every commission and title that Hamilton had. Sending this confused and star struck fool back under his rock.

Burr's daughter was lost with his papers on a ship. Sadly they were the things that would have cleared him. Today we have to deal with what everyone said about Burr. Not what Burr had to say. For if we just judged Jefferson and Hamilton on just what others thought of them...They would look just like Burr.  Cause to be honest they were just as nasty and rotten. Sometimes and it seems quite often even more so!

 Ah, history is written by the winners.  I am sorry for this sham that is called history.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Who was Abraham Lincoln? I am sick of what he has been made into

I have over the years always enjoyed books on Lincoln. I have found that it was interesting to learn things about him. But what I have always wondered is..... Who was Abraham Lincoln?

 He is not what we read about, he has become a creation of some over zealous historians. There are more books about Lincoln by the same boring authors than you can count stars in the sky.
 Lincoln is a God in American myth. He was a man who was not very clean, bathing was not very important would wear rather lousy looking and probably often worn clothes and suffered terribly with constipation and gas.
He was not the clean looking man that Buchanan had been. Buchanan would bath often, but also he had other problems and that was his political office. Buchanan was said to look like a very well washed old lady while Lincoln looked like the and probably smelled like the frontier in which he was from.
 Cigar smoke was everywhere and the smell of old oysters and the winds outside brought in the smell of the stagnate ponds outside in which were cows and pigs and many other types of trash and waste were everywhere bringing on ghastly smells and disease.
 It must of smelled terrible in the White House in those days. All the smelly spittoons filled with tobacco juice in them and around them. No body bathed and I am sure all around there smelled of the organic and the non-organic. now we can take away all the romantic notions of how pretty it was.

Lincoln was a very calculating politician, did not mind lying about anything he felt like lying about. He was a much better liar than most politicians. Much of what he talked about was questionable. But it was clever and entertaining.
  No one ever lied more beautifully than Lincoln. He learned to use religion as a good tool to gain control of the simple. He realized he had the gift of the written word and used it to his uttermost advantage.

He was not too good a judge on many matters but he was a good learner. He would in time become a master at them. He knew how to write for the strongest and longest effect and used that quality often.

He could also write in such a way to confuse everyone. This was part of his strength as it allowed him leeway to go one way or the other. He was very aware of the power of his image and was photographed often. He was also a great thinker when it came to innovation and free thought. He loved to make fun of religion and made a good farce of it often till he became famous and then he used the knowledge he had, to make him seem to be the very mouthpiece of the creator.

His Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 was pure genius. It was the ultimate of double talk. It said so much and did so little and made half the people think it did something and the other half that it would. He proved you can fool all the people all the time. But I have to admit that this document of 1863 was perhaps the greatest ever written by a President. And it did nothing, but did everything!

He certainly wasn't always that smart. He told a room full of free blacks that came to see him that they should leave the country and move to areas he was working on for relocation. I am sure they all were shocked by this. But that was Lincoln. He was not at all above saying that the black man was not equal to the white. That they should not marry others, that they should leave the country. Cause very much like others in the United States he was not a fan of the blacks either. Even though we make him seem so. He wanted them out of the country. Sadly we keep making the Civil War over slavery. That was part of it of course, but much more a part of it was money and states rights.

 I have been reading all of the messages between the United States House of Representatives and the state of South Carolina in 1860 and early 61 (Published by the House in 1861) and you will see it was much more about money and control than slavery. The North did not want the slaves either.  So we have white washed the whole thing.

With Lincoln, sadly half of what we think he said,  he did. Sadly also, lot of what we think he did say, he didn't. Sadly a lot of what we wish he did or have said in a wishful manner, is now sadly looked on as fact.

Lincoln is myth pure and simple.

To be honest, if he was not shot in 1865, there would not be this Greek chorus of PhD's singing his praises. Sadly and forever quoting each other. He is a cash cow to many of them. Also many of them like love sick girls, refuse to see his faults, or know better than to tell the whole truth.

 Cause had he lived, there would be black days ahead with his silly 10% plan. Which if you think about it was really nothing the Congress would have stood for. There had been talk in Congress about impeachment of Lincoln, but it was stilled by his assassination which created the almost religious image of him.

 It probably would have been very funny to him to see that a man who was not at all religious, was made into an American religious deity.

But had he lived I am sure his image would not be as it is today, for he has become America's Jesus. He was shot on Good Friday and died for the Nations Sins.  In a sense he rose again and sits on the right hand side of the father..George Washington.

   He was ruthless, he could be petty, he would gladly make your life less happy to gain a political foothold. He was pure and simple a very aggressive politician.  Whatever he had to do, what he needed to do, he did.

This awful nonsense of the almost religious quality of his praise is scary.  He was in reality nothing like what he has been crafted into. When you read these love letters, which are the books about him you almost get the feeling he levitates into a room.

The best book ever written about Lincoln was by his law partner. He knew him, he knew he had some mental problems, he knew he has some emotional problems, he knew he had some medical problems.

 He knew he would babble into mirrors at times, was worried about by his friends when his lover died and kept all knifes away from him as was suicidal.  That he was rather wimpy when dealing with his wife. That he had tremendous amounts of depression and morbid scariness about himself. He loved to talk about death, his death, others death, and read many a piece about death.  Death seemed to give him life. he loved to make fun of religion, marriage, homosexuality, politics, virgins, blacks, and did enjoy telling many jokes about farting.

Was very careful about what political interests could gain him popularity. He latched on to slavery and saw that as a way to rise politically. He was a real person. He had lots of flaws,he was rather nutty at times. He would often just loose track of where he was and go into a trance of sorts. Lots of people are like this. He was far more common than what we make him into. He was obviously not all there. Can you imagine someone like this running today? We had trouble with something as simple as Eagleton's mental health issues in 1972.

I do not think he was gay. I do not think of him as being very sexual. But he was at times. I agree with his partner that he caught a few things in whore houses. He was a man of powerful passions and I am sure that manifested sexually too.

  For so many years a lot of these writers tried their best to avoid much of what was written by his partner, and they still do, cause it does not make him seem a God. Cause he wasn't. He was man with a lots of flaws. He was smart, but certainly not at all honest.

To be honest Lincoln lied about his youth, friends, wife, family, father, slavery, his desire to be President, the war, Ft Sumter, his feelings about people, his desire to free the slaves, his feelings about his contemporaries, about his simple nature, and we could go on for a while. Of course he wasn't honest. He was a slippery politician first and as honest as Warren G Harding.  Perhaps that is complement, as I feel Harding was pretty honest.

But in all of these books and God knows upcoming movie of Lincoln in which he will be a God again.. We will be treated to the same old gruel and see what the historians of Lincoln wanted him to be.  I like the real person better. But that does not sell books or create a good hero worship.  Lastly as I said before Lincoln is big money. There are lots of Lincolns around most looking so unlike him it is scary. I have gone to talks with noted historians saying over and over again the same dribble. I did enjoy reading the latest naughty Lincoln books stating he was ruthless and nothing like he was.  The Real Lincoln was enjoyable basically for the fact it was not the same nonsense told over and over. I would say that 70% of these book show Lincoln more for what he was. 30% is incorrect. I think I can say the same about the Greek chorus of Ph'Ds A good 70 - 30 percent margin of correct and error.  So in honesty Abraham Lincoln is as real as we have allowed him to be. Which means we really do not know what he was really like.  We have no idea what he thought...He kept no diaries, he made sure he remained mysterious, and only a few really knew him. Most thought they did and were wrong. Every paper that Robert Lincoln could find that made his father seem human he seemed to destroy. Even the Hay - Nicolay  biography was done to please Robert Lincoln, not tell the whole story.   All said after the actions of many a zealous historian we really do not know who Lincoln was.

  In 2015 will be the 150th  anniversary of his beatification. You can be sure anyone who can find a way to make a buck out of him will and that chorus of Ph'Ds will be singing even louder! And quoting each other even more.

All of these self serving books that have come out about him and create this glorification. They don't come close the best book written by his friend and law partner Billy Herndon.  Many hate the book cause it is just a little too honest!

 Funny I have to use that word.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

The Great Lion is Dead ... Gore Vidal...1925 - 2012

One of our National Treasures is gone......

Few have lived a life like his, few have seen what he saw. Vidal was a true and unique personage. His type are rarely seen anymore and that number is down one now. He was not afraid to say what he thought and said it the annoyance of those who did not have the backbone that he did.

 He sparred with John F. Kennedy, Norman Mailer, Truman Capote, Robert Kennedy, William F. Buckley, and a whole host of others in which he said what he thought. He did not give a damn what they did. He came close to blows with a few people on live TV.  He was an out spoken critic on many issues. But his most recent has been on the total collapse of American society. He always commented on the utter stupidity of the American people, who in many cases never would read a book or try to improve themselves in any way.

   He made history come alive in his many historic novels and stabbed repeatedly many a sacred cow in his essays. He brought back from the political graveyard our 3rd Vice President Aaron Burr. His warm portrait of Burr made many rethink some of the history they had been taught in school. All of his books made history come alive. I read all of them and in some cases reread them several times.

  He was what you saw and for my money there are few that will ever do what he did.  An amazing man, who made our time and his a little more interesting and fun. Although age had limited his involvement in much of last 10 years he did get around and say what he thought about George W. Bush. Usually not too flattering in his droll style. He was originally very strong for Obama, but saw that Obama was just an empty bag of nothingness as well.  This brought him back to feeling on the end of the American Republic of which he felt was on its last legs and soon to fail. Amid all of this he would always be the fascinating and charming Gore Vidal

 He inspired me and I learned so much just listening to him speak. I admit I could spend hours just listening to him talk about history and people. He had a wonderful and fluid way of describing things. He was one of the few that could talk as equally fine as he wrote. Listen to many authors and you will understand this totally.

Thank you for all your great and interesting talks and writings. I never met you, but I knew you.

His quote on style says it all...

Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say and not giving a damn.