Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Fort Jefferson...Where Is That?!

     Yesterday (11/28), my lovely wife and I were watching the television, more specifically the History Channel.  This is the part where many of you are probably thinking to yourself, "Gee, go figure!"  Yeah, I know, because I am thinking it too.  History is in my blood, especially United States history, so I always love a good show that has something related to that.  Back to the story.  Liz and I were watching this documentary on John Wilkes Booth.
     John Wilkes booth was the individual that assassinated President Lincoln.  He managed to survive on the run twelve days after having shot Lincoln.  He met his end while locked in a barn, surrounded by Union soldiers in rural northern Virginia.  There were eight other individuals that were co-conspirators.  They were all found guilty, four of them were sentenced to hang, and the other four were sent to prison at Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas.  One of these individuals was Samuel Mudd, the doctor that set Booth's broken leg caused by jumping down onto the stage at Ford's Theater.  Mudd's sentence of life imprisonment was reduced to four years when, in 1869, President Andrew Johnson pardoned him.
     What I find so interesting about all of this is the selection of Fort Jefferson to house the four conspirators.  As you will see in these photos that I "grabbed" from Google Maps, Fort Jefferson is out in the middle of NOWHERE.  The fort is seventy miles from Key West in Florida.  Maybe one day, I will be able to go there.





     These photographs are from "zoomed out" to "zoomed in."  I have used them just to give you an idea as to the location of the fort, as well as the isolation of the fort.

Source of pictures: maps.google.com

Source of information: 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Wilkes_Booth
http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/lincolnconspiracy/lincolnaccount.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Mudd
http://www.nps.gov/drto/index.htm

Saturday, November 27, 2010

One Last Time...Nebraska

     Well, if you missed my post earlier today on Bedlam and the history of the Big 12, all is still right in the world.  Oklahoma beat Oklahoma State 47-41 in Stillwater.  We will have to wait and see what the BCS standings show tomorrow evening, but it is predicted that Oklahoma will be ranked above Oklahoma State, giving Oklahoma the Big 12 South Division title.  This means that Oklahoma will be playing Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship in Dallas, TX next week.  So much more history is riding on next week's match up.
     Oklahoma and Nebraska are two perennial powers from the old Big 8 Conference.  Oklahoma and Nebraska were two teams, that when really good, one would wind their way to the national championship.  The Pelini brothers, Bo (Nebraska Head Coach) and Carl (Nebraska Defensive Coordinator), are both from Youngstown, Ohio, which is where the Stoops brothers are from.  Also, Bo Pelini is a former assistant coach at Oklahoma.  The question for next week will be: can Nebraska leave their mark in the Big 12 by winning the last conference championship, or can Oklahoma win it by doing what they consistently do...win Big 12 Championships?

Bedlam And Some Big 12 History

     Today history will be made in Stillwater, Oklahoma.  The winner of the Bedlam game, between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, will determine the winner of the Big 12 South Division title.  After this season, the Big 12 will be no more.  Colorado will be a member of the Pac 10 and Nebraska will be a member of the Big 10.  This means that the Big 12 Conference Championship for football is the very last one.  If Oklahoma State wins, it will mark their FIRST EVER South Division title, and their last.  If Oklahoma wins, it will mark their 8th and final South Division title.


     The first year of the Big 12 Conference was 1996, making this year the fifteenth year of the conference.  Eight South Division titles in fifteen years? That is one remarkable feat, especially with having to go up against Texas every year.  Texas only has five South Division titles to their name.  What is even more impressive is this could be Oklahoma's eighth trip to the Big 12 Championship in eleven years.  That is what I call domination.  In essence, Oklahoma has ruled the South Division.  Can they continue their dominance by beating the Pokes?  We won't know the answer to that question until tonight.

Source of information: http://www.collegefootballpoll.com/champions_bigtwelve.html
Source of picture: http://ktul.images.worldnow.com/images/13505081_BG1.jpg

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thursday Thirteen #5: What I Am Thankful For

     Here is a list of the thirteen things that I am thankful for, and it is not limited to just these thirteen.

1.  Salvation
2.  A loving and godly wife
3.  Terrific parents that are still together
4.  The same parents for doing a good job of raising me
5.  Wonderful in-laws
6.  Job teaching Social Studies
7.  Being debt-free next summer
8.  Books
9.  A cute dog
10.  Close circle of fellers
11.  The 26th Amendment
12.  Sonic and Classic 50's Happy Hour
13.  Dr. Pepper and Henry Weinhard

Monday, November 22, 2010

Home of the BRAVE!

     The "who?"...the British, Americans, and Francis Scott Key.  The "what?"...Fort McHenry and the War of 1812.  The "when?"...umm, 1812.  Actually, September 1814.  The "where?"...Baltimore, MD and the Chesapeake Bay.  The "why?"...the British had captured and burned Washington, D.C. and turned to Baltimore, mostly because it was a major port city.
     Francis Scott key was an attorney and amateur poet from Maryland.  He had been selected to discuss the release of a prisoner of war with the British commander aboard the commander's warship.  The prisoner was released only on one condition...Key had to stay aboard the vessel so as not to alert the Americans about the British plan to attack.  Watching the fight from eight miles away, Key became inspired by the action that he penned these words...


 Oh! say can you see, by the dawn's early light,  
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming;  
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,  
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?  
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,  
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;  
Oh, say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave 
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave? 

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep, 
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes, 
What is that which the breeze o'er the towering steep 
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses? 
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam; 
Its full glory reflected now shines on the stream; 
'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh! long may it wave 
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave! 

And where is the band who so vauntingly swore, 
'Mid the havoc of war and the battle's confusion, 
A home and a country they'd leave us no more? 
Their blood hath washed out their foul footsteps' pollution; 
No refuge could save the hireling and slave 
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave, 
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave 
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave! 

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand 
Between their loved home and the war's desolation; 
Blessed with victory and peace, may the Heaven-rescued land 
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation. 
Then conquer we must, for our cause it is just, 
And this be our motto, "In God is our trust": 
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave 
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!



     This poem was set to the tune of an English drinking song (go figure) and was so popular that Congress declared it to be the National Anthem in 1931.  The National Anthem is comprised of just the first verse.  It is sung/played at many patriotic events along with sporting events.  It is interesting to point out that the National Anthem was selected by Major League Baseball to be played before baseball games...before Congress declared it the song of the land.
     I don't think I have felt more patriotism for this country than right after the first time I was able to vote in a presidential election.  I have also come to embrace my roots as far as where I grew up along with my familial background, namely my grandfathers' military service.  I occasionally get choked up at the singing/playing of the National Anthem because I know and understand the circumstances by which the song was written as well as the symbolic nature and meaning of the anthem.  I am proud to be an American and am grateful for those that have fought and died to preserve America's freedom and liberty.



Source of information: The Intellectual Devotional: American History by Kidder and Oppenheim, pg. 21
Source of poem: http://www.poetry-online.org/key_star_spnagled_banner.htm

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Days of My Youth: Part 2

     So yesterday's post was about the classic Nintendo video games that I loved to play and the music I loved to listen to.  Today's post is dedicated to the cartoons that I grew up watching.  Because the cartoons cover mostly the 80's and 90's, the list is going to be pretty extensive, but for those of you that can relate, the experience will be very pleasurable to the eyes and ears...


Garfield and Friends



Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles



Alvin and the Chipmunks



Darkwing Duck



Snorks



Flintstones



Smurfs



Jetsons



Muppet Babies



Scooby Doo and Scrappy Doo



A Pup Named Scooby Doo



Scooby Doo



Gummi Bears



Talespin



Goof Troop



Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers



Tiny Toons



Animaniacs



Bobby's World



Eek! The Cat



Heathcliff



Inspector Gadget



Care Bears



Duck Tales



David the Gnome



G.I. Joe



Transformers



Thundercats



He-Man: Masters of the Universe



Ghostbusters



Phew! What a list! If only I had these cartoons on dvd...well, I have some of them, but would love all of them.  Happy Birthday Mom!!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Days of My Youth: Part 1

     Bringing history closer to home, today will be very nostalgic.  Two aspects of my childhood that I love have to do with cartoons and video games.  First, I will mention the video games.  During the latter part of the 80's, my brother and I received one of our most coveted and well-used pieces of technology...a Nintendo.  The world of video games has advanced exponentially since the days of the Nintendo, but the classic nature of its games will always be remembered in the hearts and minds of my generation.  Nintendo, this tribute of some of my favorite games to play and music to listen to is for you...

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles



Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Arcade Game



Solomon's Key



Mike Tyson's Punch Out



Metroid



Super Mario Bros.



Super Mario Bros. 3



Double Dragon



Contra



The Legend of Zelda



Zelda II: The Adventures of Link



Oh, the memories...

"Its HERBIE Hancock." - Tommy Callahan, Big Tom Callahan's son

     It is fitting to discuss today's topic after having discussed Mercantilism because the two topics are related.  There was once a man of much influence and wealth in mid-18th century Boston.  There was once a man of much defiance against the British crown in mid-18th century Boston.  Such a man was John Hancock.
     Hancock was a merchant and banker in the city of Boston.  The two occupations were very lucrative when it came to making money and once the British taxes were imposed, Hancock was not a happy person.  John Hancock and Samuel Adams were the most outspoken against Britain's policies and were heavily involved in the infamous Sons of Liberty.  They were such a "thorn in the side" of the British that it was they who British troops were sent to arrest that led to the battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775.
     The influence of Hancock and his wealth during the American Revolution led to him being elected president of the Continental Congress in Philadelphia.  This would be the same Continental Congress that approved the Declaration of Independence.  With Hancock being the president, he was entitled to sign the Declaration of Independence first.  The size of his signature on the Declaration is a testament to his dedication to both American liberty and to himself.

Source of information: The Intellectual Devotional: American History by Kidder and Oppenheim, pg. 50

Friday, November 19, 2010

The "ism" of Mercantils

     Going through history classes, vocabulary is a very large part of making it through.  In the realm of history, there are many "isms" that come your way...capitalism, socialism, communism.  There is one "ism" that doesn't really get a lot of attention unless the class is specifically the American Revolution.  The "ism" is Mercantilism.
     I think I may have first heard and/or seen the word Mercantilism in my 9th grade US History class.  If I remember correctly, I was only able to remember that it had something to do with money because "mercant" sounds like "merchant" and of course, merchants deal in trade.  Any "ism" can be intimidating to study or learn, but this one really isn't that bad.
     Do you remember the Stamp Act or the Intolerable (Coercive) Acts?  Mercantilism is the name for the economic policy that those acts, along with the others not named, are grouped in.  The idea behind Mercantilism was to get every possible penny from the colonies (North American, Indian, African, and Caribbean) to enrich the British Crown and expand the empire.  The irony is that Mercantilism was its own undoing.
     There were two documents that were written during the 18th century that played a role in the downfall of Mercantilism, at least from the North American colonies perspective...the Declaration of Independence and The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith.  Along with the notion that the colonists didn't like being taxed without representation in British Parliament was the fact that the British government prohibited imports to the colonies from foreign countries.  What this did was limit the overall market for goods to be purchased as well as it drove up the price of imported British goods due to tariffs.  Adam Smith, a Scottish economist, points out that Mercantilism was shortsighted and ineffective.  To better understand the shortsightedness and ineffectiveness of the British policy, I suggest that you read, or attempt to read, his book.  I just may add it to my list to read.


Source of information: The Intellectual Devotional: American History by Kidder and Oppenheim, pg. 18

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thursday Thirteen #4: Moments in History That I Am Thankful For

     In preparation for Thanksgiving next week, I have decided, at the suggestion of my lovely wife, to do a list of moments from history that I am thankful for...on with the show!

1.   Luke 2:7
2.   Luke 23:33-24:12
3.   circa 1450
4.   May 14, 1607
5.   July 4, 1776
6.   September 3, 1783
7.   Lux Libertas (1789)
8.   April 9, 1865
9.   10, 2, and 4 (1885) and "alternative for our beer-drinking loyalists" (1914)
10.  Civi et Reipublicae (1890)
11.  Willis Haviland Carrier of Buffalo, NY (1902)
12.  May 8, 1945
13.  August 15, 1945

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Glove Fry

     I was looking through my "book of secrets" to figure out what I wanted to discuss today and decided to go with something that not a lot of people may know about.  Also, this subject is very close to my heart because this place is close to my parents and my parents are close to my heart...if that makes any sense.  The topic today is Valley Forge.
     Almost two and a half years after the battles of Lexington and Concord, General George Washington and the Continental Army set up camp in the small town of Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.  The British had captured the city of Philadelphia and where the British were, the Continental Army would be close by.  One of the things that most people may not know is that there were not a lot of battles that took place during the winter months between 1775 and 1783.  Contrary to popular belief, Valley Forge was not a battle of the Revolutionary War.
     Valley Forge can be considered one of the lowest points for morale during the war.  Out of the 10,000 troops that were under Washington's command, about 2,000 died of disease, hunger, or the cold.  Famous writer Thomas Paine noted that these were the "times that try men's souls." With the help of a Prussian officer named Friedrich von Steuben, the Continental regulars gained discipline and skill in order to hold their own against the better trained British regulars.  Eventually the British would surrender at Yorktown, giving victory to the newly formed nation.

Bonus question: what two movies did I reference?

Source of information: The Intellectual Devotional: American History by Kidder and Oppenheim, p. 65

Sunday, November 14, 2010

History, Birthday, and Music

     Today is my wife's birthday.  She is also a country gal from small town Oklahoma.  In honor of the day on which she was born and her roots, I have decided to make a list of the #1 Country Songs the week of her birthday, starting with the day she was born...

Week of Nov. 17, 1984 - Give Me One More Chance by Exile
Week of Nov. 16, 1985 - Hang On To Your Heart by Exile
Week of Nov. 15, 1986 - That Rock Won't Roll by Restless Heart
Week of Nov. 14, 1987 - Maybe Your Baby's Got The Blues by The Judds
Week of Nov. 19, 1988 - I'll Leave This World Loving You by Ricky Van Shelton
Week of Nov. 18, 1989 - Bayou Boys by Eddy Raven
Week of Nov. 17, 1990 - You Really Had Me Going by Holly Dunn
Week of Nov. 16, 1991 - Shameless by Garth Brooks
Week of Nov. 14, 1992 - No One Else on Earth by Wynonna
Week of Nov. 20, 1993 - Almost Goodbye by Mark Chesnutt
Week of Nov. 19, 1994 - Shut Up And Kiss Me by Mary Chapin Carpenter
Week of Nov. 18, 1995 - Check Yes Or No by George Strait
Week of Nov. 16, 1996 - Lonely Too Long by Patty Loveless
Week of Nov. 15, 1997 - Love Gets Me Every Time by Shania Twain
Week of Nov. 14, 1998 - Wide Open Spaces by Dixie Chicks
Week of Nov. 20, 1999 - I Love You by Martina McBride
Week of Nov. 18, 2000 - Best of Intentions by Travis Tritt
Week of Nov. 17, 2001 - Angry All The Time by Tim McGraw
Week of Nov. 16, 2002 - Somebody Like You by Keith Urban
Week of Nov. 15, 2003 - I Love This Bar by Toby Keith
Week of Nov. 20, 2004 - Mr. Mom by Lonestar
Week of Nov. 19, 2005 - Better Life by Keith Urban
Week of Nov. 18, 2006 - Before He Cheats by Carrie Underwood
Week of Nov. 17. 2007 - Don't Blink by Kenny Chesney
Week of Nov. 15, 2008 - Just A Dream by Carrie Underwood
Week of Nov. 14, 2009 - Toes by Zac Brown Band
Week of Nov. 20, 2010 - Come Back Song by Darius Rucker (for right now)

Happy Birthday Elizabeth!

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Cradle of Civilization

     My 6th graders just finished chapter one in the book which discusses the early civilizations.  The big name of the location is Mesopotamia.  The word Mesopotamia means "land between the rivers."  Mesopotamia was located mostly in present day Iraq and Syria.  The two rivers are the Tigris and Euphrates.  Something significant about these rivers is that they are the two mentioned in the book of Genesis because they flowed through the Garden of Eden.  Also, Mesopotamia was also in the region known as the Fertile Crescent. 
     This region was called the Fertile Crescent for several reasons.  First, and obviously, the shape of the region was curved like a crescent.  Second, the abundance of water from the two rivers (what were they again?) helped with the irrigation and cultivation of the land for growing crops.  Finally, land is not described as fertile without good soil for growing.  Abundance of water and access to it, along with the rich soil, means plentiful agriculture.  Growth of agriculture gave way to growth of populations.  Villages grew into towns and towns grew into cities.  The first city-states were created in Mesopotamia.  These city-states grew into complex societies known as civilizations.
     The Sumerians created the first writing system known as cuneiform.  Sargon, king of the Akkadians, established the world's first empire.  Hammurabi, king of the Babylonians, took the laws of the surrounding city-states and compiled them into one code...the Code of Hammurabi.  Out of Nineveh arose the Assyrians, who were the first to use iron weapons.  The Assyrians were very cruel to those that they conquered, however there was one civilization that rebelled.  They were the Chaldeans, led by the one and only Nebuchadnezzar.
     There is one more thing to add.  With the creation of the first writing system by the Sumerians, there was the first written story, The Epic of Gilgamesh.  In this epic, there is the mentioning of the gods having an assembly and deciding to destroy their people.  They decided to destroy their people in the sea because they were doing evil things.  Does this sound familiar to anyone?  According to the book of Genesis, God decided that mankind was evil and wicked and needed to be destroyed in a great flood, save one family, led by Noah.  Noah was told to build an ark and collect two of each animal to put in the ark in order that mankind would start over.  Tune in next time to: "Walk Like an Egyptian".

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thursday Thirteen #3: Favorite "Veterans"

In honor of Veteran's Day, I decided that today's list would be dedicated to those that have gone before us, in no particular order of course.  Just to remind those of you, a veteran is one who has served in the military, especially in a war.

1.   John Franklin Crumpler, World War II (my late paternal grandfather)
2.   Robert W. Kohler, Vietnam (my maternal grandfather)
3.   Joshua L. Chamberlain, The Civil War (Union)
4.   Audie Murphy, World War II
5.   George Washington, Revolutionary War
6.   Robert E. Lee, The Civil War (Confederacy)
7.   George S. Patton, World War II
8.   Henry Mucci, World War II
9.   John J. Pershing, World War I
10. John Paul Jones, Revolutionary War
11. Andrew Jackson, War of 1812
12. Ulysses S. Grant, The Civil War (Union)
13. Carl Brashear, served during the Korean War and Vietnam

Bonus: Forrest Gump, Vietnaaaaam

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

History of Films...and a game.

themahler "And for the record, @OUCrumpy's movie knowledge is uncanny, I tell you."  

This is a quote from Twitter courtesy of my friend and News 9 meteorologist, Matt Mahler.  Now I shall explain.  Few people know about this...misswisabus, LagoComo, zodzilla, drklai...you know what I'm talking about.


So I have a fairly good memory when it comes to movies and which people were in certain movies together.  Last Friday, Matt Mahler and I took a little road trip up to Tulsa for the Norman/Jenks football game.  Road trips go much faster when you have something to talk about, so I took it upon myself to introduce Mr. Mahler to a little game called The Kevin Bacon Game: With a Twist (just made that up when I typed it).  The objective of the Kevin Bacon Game is to link any actor or actress to Kevin Bacon in 6 movies or less.  The game I play is taking any actor/actress and linking that person to any other actor/actress.  Still not sure of what I am talking about?  Here's an example, and it is one that I was given back in 2002...


Link Vivian Leigh to Jon Bon Jovi ------> 4 movies


Vivian Leigh was in A Streetcar Named Desire with Marlon Brando (1)
Marlon Brando was in The Island of Dr. Moreau with Val Kilmer (2)
Val Kilmer was in Tombstone with Bill Paxton (3)
Bill Paxton was in U-571 with Jon Bon Jovi (4)

For those of you that are wondering who Vivian Leigh is, well, she plays Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind.  Yes...this is from memory.


The game allows using 6 movies or less, but it is always my objective to link the actors/actresses in as few movies as possible.  Usually it is 3 movies or less. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Night of Broken Glass

     January 30, 1933 was the day that began the unfortunate demise of the Jewish populations of Germany and the rest of Europe.  The 30th of January in 1933 was the day that Adolf Hitler was named Chancellor of Germany.  That fateful day was the day when he started to consolidate his power and start pushing forward his anti-Semitic agenda.  Over the next 5 years, the Third Reich gradually enforced anti-Jewish laws, the most infamous being the yellow star worn on the sleeve.  Today marks the 72nd anniversary of Kristallnacht, also known as "The Night of Broken Glass."
     Kristallnacht occurred during a two-day period and was encouraged by Hitler's Nazi regime.  Jewish businesses and synagogues were vandalized and looted.  Also, about 91 Jews were killed.  This event was the first time in Nazi Germany that the killing of Jews was condoned.  The aftermath of Kristallnacht paved the way for Hitler to institute his Final Solution and the Holocaust.

Source of information:  http://www.ushmm.org/museum/exhibit/focus/kristallnacht/

Monday, November 8, 2010

Washington Irving

 
     Such a place exists as Irving Middle School in Oklahoma.  There is somewhat of a theme that is going on here in Norman.  All of the elementary schools, with the exception of one, are named after U.S. Presidents.  The four middle schools are named after famous writers.  The high schools...not so lucky in the creative department.  The namesake of one middle school is Washington Irving (1783-1859).
     Irving was born the same year that the Revolutionary War ended (1783).  Due to George Washington's popularity, Irving's parents decided to name their son after the great President.  Washington Irving is included in the group known as the founders of American literary tradition.  He is most well-known for two of his short stories, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle".  Irving also wrote a biography about the great George Washington.




Source of information: The Intellectual Devotional: American History by Kidder and Oppenheim, pg. 27
Source of pictures: 
     http://images.ebookmall.com/s-ripvan-winkle.gif
     http://www.knowledgerush.com/wiki_image/4/4d/Washington_irving.jpg
     http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Koswua3yL.jpg

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Linking the Past and the Present

     There are some things about today that I would like to mention.  Historically, there were several events that occurred on November 6th, but one in particular that I would like to mention.  I was looking on the History Channel website to see what happened on "This Day in History" and one event jumped out at me.  On this day back in 1789, John Carroll was named the first Catholic bishop in the United States.  Remember, the United States Constitution was signed in 1787 and subsequently ratified in 1787-88.  The year 1789 was one of those years where several things happened.  The United States Treasury was established.  George Washington became the first President of the United States of America.  The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was established becoming the first public university in the United States.
     The reason why John Carroll, becoming the first bishop, jumped out to me is because of my friend Patrick Shanahan.  Patrick and I have known each other since elementary school.  He lived up the street from me.  We even got in big trouble together our sophomore year of high school, causing me to be grounded for a month.  Now its one of those situations where we, and each of our parentals, can look back and chuckle about it.  After graduating high school, Patrick embarked on his collegiate adventures to John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio.  Patrick is now serving our country in the United States Navy aboard the U.S.S Virginia (SSN-774).  Patrick, thank you and thanks to all of your shipmates for serving our country!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thursday Thirteen #2: Greatest Presidents

     With the mid-term elections coming and going just two days ago, along with the impact that it has on the second half of the President's term, I decided that this would be a good topic...so here goes...in the order that they served...

1.  George Washington (1789-1797)
2.  John Adams (1797-1801)
3.  Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809)
4.  James Madison (1809-1817)
5.  James Monroe (1817-1825)
16. Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865)
26. Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909)
32. Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945)
33. Harry S. Truman (1945-1953)
35. John F. Kennedy (1961-1963)
37. Richard Nixon (1969-1974)
40. Ronald Reagan (1981-1989)
42. William Clinton (1993-2001)

Some clarification is needed.  It was hard to put two of the names on the list because I am big on integrity with a position such as the presidency.  Nixon and Clinton each made bone-headed decisions under the guise of "President of the United States", but their performance when it came to running the country and handling foreign policy was quite good.  Is there anyone on the list that you don't think should be on here (you may say Nixon and/or Clinton if you like) and is there anyone not on the list that should be on it?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Kevin From Norman 11.3.2010

Caution: Personal Views Shared!

     Some years Election Day isn't really eventful because not much is being voted on, whereas other years it is eventful.  This year was one of those eventful years.  The cause for the eventfulness is up for debate, but the summary is that the people have spoken.  Through all of the protests and town hall meetings, "We The People" have spoken.  Was it the right decision?  Will the politics pendulum keep moving to the right or will it stop and swing back to the left?  Only time will tell.
     My dad has had quite a bit of experience when it comes to elections...he's been voting for 30+ years.  Something that he told me this past year was that when the party of the President is opposite the party of Congress, or in this case the House of Reps, stuff gets done.  When two people or two groups of people have a job to do and have opposing views on specific issues, they still have to get the job done.  Its called compromise, negotiating, and working together.
     I think that people get so focused on themselves with what happens during elections that they forget the fact that THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO VOTE and freely speak their minds.  How many people in the world can say that they have the right to freely participate in government by voting AND have the protected freedom to speak their mind?  We take too many things for granted in this country.  Voting, freely assembling together, and protesting should be held as sacred.  Paraphrasing the wise Thomas Jefferson, you can't be ignorant AND free at the same time.  Sitting back and letting bureaucrats and politicians make decisions for you WITHOUT your input is NOT freedom and liberty.  It is IGNORANT, UNWISE, STUPID, LAZY, and UN-AMERICAN.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Rock. It.

     One of the aspects of America that sets us apart from other countries in the world (not all countries of course) is the ability to vote for those that represent us in government.  Two years ago, America elected the first African-American president.  Some would argue that the nation is reaping from that decision.  Today, the state of Oklahoma will make its own history by electing the first female governor...ever!  The other possibility is the first time in state history whereby the governor and majorities in both houses of the state legislature are from the same political party.  There has never been a time in statehood that the Republican Party has controlled both the Executive and Legislative branches of government.  We shall see what happens this evening.  I of course do not want to forget the changes that may happen across the nation with gubernatorial elections and U.S. Congressional elections.  I will leave you now with some well-spoken words....

Rock the vote!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

John...John Winthrop


     Before I get to John Winthrop, I need to clarify a few things.  Puritans and Pilgrims...not the same.  The colony established in 1620 at Plymouth was by the Pilgrims and Massachusetts Colony was established in 1630 by the Puritans, led by John Winthrop.  The Pilgrims and Puritans were both seeking religious refuge from persecution in Britain.  The Pilgrims were considered separatists, seeking to separate from the Church of England whereas the Puritans simply wanted to purify the customs of the Anglican church.
     Winthrop landed with his fellow Puritans at Salem on the ship Arbella.  Before going ashore, Winthrop gave, what is considered to be, one of the most famous sermons in American history.  Winthrop's vision of a "city on a hill" quickly became a memory when word of his successful colony reached England.  More immigrants began to come to Massachusetts, many of whom were not Puritans themselves.  Within 100 years after the death of Winthrop in 1649, Puritanism was no longer the dominant faith in Massachusetts.  This is interesting because several of the Ivy League schools started out as conservative religious institutions, but have long since lost its conservatism.

Source of picture: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/apocalypse/art/pic_winthrop.jpg
Source of information: The Intellectual Devotional: American History by Kidder and Oppenheim, pg. 8