Friday, December 22, 2006
A Story for Silja in Finland
My short comment was too brief to do justice to the subject I was raising, so I retrieved the following letter that I wrote to my friend Silja, who lives in Helsinki, Finland. Silja had asked me to explain why we Americans are the way we are.
Chalk it up to frontier mentality. Or Manifest Destiny. Or Westward Ho!On March 11, 2006, to commemorate the 90th anniversary of Pancho Villa's attack on Columbus, a new Exhibit Hall was officially opened at Pancho Villa State Park.
While we’re all Europeans, more or less, we never suffered from the frustrations of too small countries and too many boundaries. There was always the western wilderness to escape to. Historians call it the safety valve. Anyone who found life uncomfortable in the east could always go west, back in the 19th century, and build a new life. This was particularly helpful if you believed in a hated new religion (like Mormonism) or if you were simply guilty of theft or murder.
Go west, young man (and occasional woman). Clear the wilderness; subdue the savages. If you get into trouble, we’ll send the cavalry to save you. Remember, this land is your land, from sea to shining sea. Actually, we bought most of the west from Napoleon, who didn’t really own it, and the rest we took from Mexico, which was too puny to defend it.
Speaking of Mexico, in the early 20th century they had a revolution down there. Governments started turning over on a regular basis starting in 1910. I’m sure it made America very concerned to have such an unstable situation right on our southern border. Some people involved in the Mexican struggle were also bandits. One of them was Pancho Villa.
In 1916, Pancho and his men crossed the border and attacked the town of Columbus, New Mexico and the Army post there. People were killed, property was either stolen or destroyed. U.S. General Pershing was sent with 10,000 men on a punitive expedition into Mexico. They chased Pancho Villa for months, but they never caught him. The next year, Pershing got to go on another expedition, this time to France to fight in the First World War.
The only reason I’m telling you this story is that today, in Columbus, New Mexico, there is a state park where the Army post used to be. It’s called the Pancho Villa State Park. I’m just going to take a wild guess that you won’t be seeing an Osama bin Laden State Park where the World Trade Center towers used to stand.
Saturday, 6 October 2001
P.S. The Villa raid was “the first armed invasion of the continental United States since the War of 1812, and also the last one” until 11 September 2001.
They even had a parade including a smiling Pancho Villa re-enactor.
Can you picture a similar commemoration at Ground Zero in the year 2091?
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
A Story for Aileen in Northern Ireland
Here's Part 1 of a family story (illustrated) for Aileen.
"[T]he man in the photo holding the cup [is] Hugh McDonald"
Hello Alan,More to come in Parts 2 and beyond. Stay tuned.
I was at a meeting tonight and one of the people there had asked me to supply him with some photographs of ambulances from the Belfast Fire Brigade. As I was showing them to him another person at the meeting George Morrison (The ex Chief Fire Officer) started to identify the different photos as he had been born in Ardoyne Fire Station in Belfast.
A photograph which I have attached shows the old horse drawn ambulance along with its crew holding one of the challenge cups which they had won. George said that the man in the photo holding the cup was Hugh McDonald and as well as being the First Aid instructor he was also the father of Archie McDonald, and that the McDonalds lived in number 6 Ardoyne Fire Station. George knew this because he lived in number 4 Ardoyne Station. So Hugh McDonald would be your Grandfather.
George told me that because the McDonalds lived in Ardoyne Archie had joined the Auxiliary Fire Service during the early years of the war, and as such was operating from that station whenever he was killed.
I had never heard this story until tonight, because if I had we would have been able to have put more into the book, as this is one of the photographs which we used. Also it happens to be one of the photographs which is on the web-site. So there you have it your grandfather Hugh McDonald was looking at you on the web-site all along.
All the best for now.
June 10, 2002
Monday, December 18, 2006
A Year and a Day
None of the arguments against impeachment that have been made by the defenders of the President's crimes are anything but distractions. The House of Representatives has not only the right to impeach, they have the responsiblity to impeach. Even if the Senate chose not to remove the President, that would not absolve the House from the crime of its inaction.
The founders of this nation mandated that America would never have a King. Impeachment is the tool that saves us from the failure of the Republic. It must be used whenever the President violates the law of the land. The 109th Congress has failed in its responsibility to save the Republic. Now we must look to the 110th Congress to right these terrible wrongs.
I for one will be watching.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
A Message for Charles in Texas
Charles in Texas also has a blog (Jeremiah's Helper), but we both do most of our communicating over at A Tangled Web. A few months ago I made a bet with Charles, and now I owe him some chicken wings. In order to deliver on my debt, I need an email address for him.
So, Charles, if you see this, check out my email address in my Profile and drop me a line. Also, good friends Troll and Monica, if you can get this message to Charles I'd be much obliged.
Saturday, December 09, 2006
356 Days and No Longer Counting
Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., gaveled the House to a close for the last time about 3:15 a.m.They even missed the opportunity to repeat their last impeachment performance:
Of the dozen postelection sessions Congress has held since World War II, several have had historical significance. In 1954, the Senate convened to censure Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R) of Wisconsin for his "lynch party"-style hearings on the dangers of communism. In 1974, Congress met to complete legislation delayed by the Watergate investigation. In 1998, the House met for two days to impeach President Clinton.It's my own fault for having any faith in this corrupt bunch, Bush's fellow criminals.
Now I have to decide what to do with this blog. Its purpose is officially redundant. I could change the purpose and keep the clock running on possible impeachment by a Democratic Congress, or lose the clock and keep up the call for impeachment, or redefine it as a general blog of my views on politics beyond impeachment.
What do you think I should do, Dear Readers?
Sunday, December 03, 2006
351 Days and Counting
Do the right thing, Republicans: