Monday, January 16, 2017

Harriet Tubman, My Long-time, Historical Friend

Harriet, upon obtaining Freedom
It's Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. And Harriet Tubman will soon grace our twenty dollar bill. I rejoice as we've been friends for almost 50 years.

Scholastic Book Services was one of the great blessings of my childhood. My Mom loved reading and always scraped up some spare change to allow me one or two from the tantalizing list of books that my teachers at Thoreau Elementary gave me. In 1968, I believe in the Fifth Grade at 11 years of age, I chose a great one.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Big Pit, Blaenavon, Wales

Big Pit's wheel machinery for the ore and people lift.
It's interesting that mines are called "pits" in Britain when we would tend to associate that with a surface strip mine or something like the Kennecott Copper Mine, spiraling down to remove a whole mountain of ore.

It might be because the word in Welsh is "pwll" which is a cognate for "pool" and also means "mine." The Big Pit in Blaenavon, just over the hill from where my ancestors lived, is known as Pwll Mawr in Cymraeg.

We were not allowed to take pictures in the mine which was good in a way because my SD disk went haywire that day. That bothered me ever since because I had limited surface shots, but then I realized there would be pictures on the web!

I've been in potash mines in New Mexico. This was my first coal mine. And it was fascinatingly horrifying.

The Big Pit website even had a photo of the guide who took us down.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Some Kind Words for Trump Voters

There are those explanations on social media as to why liberal-minded souls are upset, hurt, and angry at their Trump-supporter friends and family. They are sincere about the concept that if you voted for the vile man who spouted and acted out such ugly views of the disabled, women, ethnic, racial, and religious minorities, etc., you  must be insensitive or complicit in such things. Let me take a slightly different tack.

One reason why we progressive, anti-Trump voters are so upset is that the election result was such a shock to our very being. Admit it. The results were a surprise to nearly everyone.

For myself, I was not a big fan of Hillary Clinton. I think you can see that in this blog especially if you go back to see some posts when I was supporting Bernie Sanders in the Primaries (although a Joe Biden would have been my ideal choice). After she locked up the nomination, I tried to support her to the best of my ability as a loyal Democrat agreeing with her on most issues. And my biggest issue was that she was the best and only chance to defeat the Republican nominee, the man for all malfeasons  [OK, I just made up a word. If Shakespeare can do it, I can, even if not as well].

So here's my idea.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Scenes from American History

Paul Revere: "The Redcoats are coming! The Redcoats are coming!"

Massachusetts: "YOU'RE FAKE NEWS!"

Patrick Henry: "Give me Liberty or give me death!"

Thomas Jefferson: "YOU'RE FAKE NEWS!"

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Putin Pravda

We may never know what is real or unreal, fake or not news. But this we know. Vladimir Putin, former KGB Agent and Tzar-like leader of Russia, has done what the Soviet Union was never able to accomplish. American Democracy is suspect, our First Amendment protected Free Press is completely unreliable, and our intelligence agencies are compromised.

Oh.My.Heck! How did we get here?

I can't explain it.

There are a few items falling out after that really weird tele-novela today in which the President Elect had his staffers boo and ridicule the press. And the CNN reporter fell right into the President Elect's small but grabby hands as he squeezed the "fake news" right out of him.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

President Obama's Farewell Address

Yes, I liked the speech. It reaffirmed that the President's views of politics and the Constitution are very much like mine. I don't agree with him 100%, but it's in the nineties.

This is a great speech. This is the best President of my lifetime.

I provide here the full text of the speech as found on CNN. I provide no further commentary at this time, but I have highlighted the parts I like the best.