469 Comments

Thank you for this piece of history. When I support National Parks I always think of Theodore Roosevelt, a very human reformer. Both Roosevelts, among the wealthiest of our presidents, were aristocrats in the true sense of the word. Sadly, other wealthy presidents have not been as magnanimous. It takes tragedy to form the best humans.

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Virginia Doris Kearns Goodwin wrote a. Book describing how both Roosevelts overcame great adversity which contributed to their greatness.

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"Leadership in Turbulent Times". My current read, can't put it down. Covers Abraham Lincoln ans Lyndon Johnson, too.

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Mary Pat I’ve just commenced re-reading Catherine Drinker Bowen’s magnificent MIRACLE AT PHILADELPHIA. It is the compelling story of how representatives of 12 states (Rogue Island refused to come) sweltered for four months, many extraordinary compromises, and produced the best working political document that the world had ever seen.

It was a near thing on the edge of failure. Similarly with the antsy ratification process. Reading the Federalist Papers and James Madison’s daily accounts, I say shame to pseudo-originalists.

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Sounds like a Must Read! Adding to my list, Keith. Thanks!

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adding it to my "to read" list NOW! Thanks

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The Gilded Age. An era of great wealth making for a few at the direct expense of the working class and the small businessmen who’s ingenuity was crushed by the Robber Barons

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robber_baron_(industrialist)

Teddy Roosevelt was a bad ass

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The Gilded Age—sound familiar? Note that gilt is a thin covering, obscuring baser stuff beneath.

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Sorry, but I ‘m not understanding your comment

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Of course, I may be misreading this, but might Jon be suggesting that we are going through a Gilded Age 2.0 right now? Certainly looks that way to me....

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Interesting - from Wikipedia: The "Gilded Age" term came into use in the 1920s and 1930s and was derived from writer Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner's 1873 novel The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today, which satirized an era of serious social problems masked by a thin gold gilding.

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When I think of the gilded age, both today and “yesterday”, I refer to the wildly disproportionate wealth distribution across all economic classes and, consequently , the disproportionate (top heavy) accumulation of political power.

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The Gilded Age I’m referring to was the Era of the Robber Barons in the late 1800’s

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...and the gilding is, indeed, thin. Lot of ugliness under that shiny coating.

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Yes, often that is the case. Some collapse under the weight of such pain. Others fight back.

I have read a lot about TR, so I knew this story well. He was a powerful and fascinating man. TR used his grief to become even more consequential. To make a difference.

But if you read about his childhood, you will see a pattern. As a kid, he was sickly and weak. His response was to fight even harder against his infirmities. He embarked on a lifetime of exercise and vigorous activities that literally rebuilt his body and his character.

Sometimes, a very painful experience, which at the time seems overwhelming can be motivating and powerful. I attribute my ability to handle pain and adversity to the terrifying health challenges I had as a kid.

Teddy took it to the highest levels. He was far from the perfect guy. But he was incredibly inspiring, nonetheless. I yearn for more like him to lead us.

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Your comment reminds me that TR was an adherent of "muscular Christianity," the mid- and late-19th-century movement in both the UK and the US that emphasized physical health, sports, and outdoor activities ways to promote masculinity. It was a reaction against what these reformers saw as the "feminization" of Christianity (never mind that both the Catholic Church and the mainstream Protestant denominations were all led by men).

Those strong leaders that so many long for are almost invariably male, and they usually come accompanied by a heaping dose of sexism and even misogyny. This helps explain why, among those who long for "strong leaders," the names of, say, Nancy Pelosi and Stacey Abrams rarely come up.

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Good point. History courses tend to primarily focus on the “achievements” of men.

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This fact inspired my mother, who believed women had to excel beyond men’s achievement to even be set as their equals. In her elder years, she did a genealogy of my father’s family, but she detoured from standard genealogy to include the female lines. She died before doing her own genealogy, so I guess that will be my project in the coming years. Thankfully, she assembled copious notes, records, and photographs which she passed on to me. 🤗

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Love this! My sister is the genealogist in my family, along with her husband, but I'm happily guesting on their Ancestry site -- and learning some interesting connections that weren't all that obvious, because the family names of the women tend to get erased when they marry. Seeing the genealogy makes it clearer where they came from and who might have influenced them.

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Gosh, I’ll need to learn more about the Ancestry site!

My mother (and father) loved this work, had many adventures, and made many connections over their research & writing years. She was first inspired by the TV miniseries “Roots” (1977) and published her book in 1982.

Published by Gateway Press, it was called “The Descendants of Thomas Hutchinson of Southold, N. Y. 1666-1982”. Author: Jane Errickson Hutchinson. My real name is actually Jennie Hutchinson Shanks! Note we both kept our maiden names. ^^

My parents passed in September and October of 2005. I’ve still got a few hundred of her books in my basement, because I couldn’t bear the thought of taking them to the dump!!

Y’all have fun, good luck, and be well!!

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patriarchy is the HIStory we learn ... which explains a lot

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The Bully Pulpit by Doris K Goodwin is a fantastic book!

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YES!!!!!

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A must read, for sure.

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Another good biography about TR is "Mornings on Horseback" by David McCoullough.

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Yes. Enjoyed that as well. A whole other angle on TR is "River of Doubt" by Candace Millard. A little less flattering and quite revealing of TR in his later life. Millard is a favorite author.

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Thanks for the referral!!

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Indeed suffering can sculpt us into our best selves.

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We need more like Teddy Roosevelt, who endured so much pain but gave the nation so much badly needed reform.

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Feb 15, 2023·edited Feb 15, 2023

“These extremists are afraid their guns will be taken away — we’re afraid our children will be taken away,”

— Shannon Watts, to Reuters

“It takes a monster to kill children. But to watch monsters kill children again and again and do nothing isn’t just insanity — it’s inhumanity.”

— Amanda Gorman

“I want to live in a country where my presence is not seen by some as an existential threat. But this feels like a fantasy. I want to walk past the school where my son will attend kindergarten next year and see a place that will keep him safe. But this is impossible. We live in a country that has failed us. Where legislation is written — and erased — by the gun lobby. Where manipulations and distortions of Second Amendment rights prevent politicians from enacting any semblance of sensible laws that would at least attempt to prevent this. Where claims about what our Founders wanted supersede the slaughter we see right in front of us. Where the cocktail of easily accessible guns and the normalizing of extremist views makes nowhere feel safe. There is no other country in the world where this happens. And the fact that it does happen, and happens with such frequency, is reflective of a choice that has been made. But just because a choice has been made doesn’t mean that different choices aren’t possible. Different choices are possible.”

— Clint Smith, in The Atlantic

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I'm totally onboard with having the same gun regulations as the Founding Fathers... provided we also have THE SAME TYPES OF MUSKETS. And everyone getting regular militia training.

Pop quiz: what's the Third Amendment? Answer: you cannot be required to quarter soldiers. Not super useful or relevant anymore, is it?

The 2nd isn't either.

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I too have thought about this, that muskets should be unrestricted and open carry. Whatever the early Americans did with those guns can be done today with those guns. But the guns of today deserve all the restrictions appropriate to today's gun designs, population size and living conditions, as well as today's media, vitriol and societal mental and emotional illnesses that make guns far more deadly and dangerous than muskets.

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Muskets...quartering soldiers...the founders knew the world would change. That’s why they included a process to amend the Constitution. I get frustrated with the people who want the Constitution followed as originally written.

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They want “originalism” only when it applies to their favorite topics. The claims for gun rights do NOT FALL into this philosophy. Automatic rifles? No!

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And, they forget that amendment was part of the original constitution.

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Susan, Because the 2nd Amendment is riddled with complexities I’ve enumerated in previous postings, I wish to set it aside as I note that the Founders, I imagine for good reason, made it difficult to be edited—a two-thirds majority in each chamber, ratified by three-fourths of the states.

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Unfortunately the founders made the Constitution too difficult to amend.

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As we all know, the topic comes up frequently on local FB forums. One “clever” 2A gun rights loyalist commented that gun rights come from God; evidently linked to the right to “defend ourselves.” I have heard, from other sources, that 2A is considered “divine”. A bit bloated, in my estimation.

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To add to my comment, I should add that by extension, the fact that gun rights “come from God” is the reason they cannot be limited. I wonder if these proponents understand that if the 2A comes from God, then other amendments must also. Therefore, voting rights amendments also come from God, and we can and should use our votes to address gun violence.

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Now that's devine Anne.

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2A Disciples worhship the "Devine"? More like trapped in one of Dante's circles of Hell.

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You mean 'divine'. (Just a little nitpicking for today.)

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Having just re-watched the movie "Loving" and having followed that history since the 1980s, the judge who convicted the Lovings of breaking Virginian miscegenation law decreed from the bench that it was "god's plan" that interracial marriages did not take place. Ignorant, Religious Bigots. What would Jesus think?

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I wonder what Jesus (as portrayed in The Bible) would think of the allowed slaughter, of what is preached from many pulpits in this nation, and the treatment of “the least of us” by those with power and wealth.

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We all know what he would think, don't we.

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Moses had an interracial marriage

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Also, how did that judge get appointed and what about separation of church and state?

Or does that not apply

to the Judiciary?

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IMO it is utterly insane to require today's laws to be based upon what was legal in the 18th Century. Such a policy requires the erasure of more than 200 years of social, political and legal progress!

Society, though it retains dreadful racist and other "traditions," has evolved in many ways. We cannot survive as a nation by refusing to evolve.

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The founding fathers that gunners are so fond of quoting would be horrified by the way the 2nd amendment is used today

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The Supreme Court seems to be so wedded to the “originalist “ idea of government might think of banning all weapons except muskets. I recently suggested to my husband that this idea would dovetail with it’s other absurd ideas. We live in 2023 and the laws we live under need to reflect this. Nevertheless l still believe that “all men are created equal, endowed by their creator with the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” To me this includes the right not to be gunned down, the right to vote, and the the right to choose what can or cannot be done to one’s own body. Not the right to call the president a liar in congress, or fire , when there is none, in a crowded theater.

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All men and women..."

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Following truth in packaging laws, "originalism" ought to come with a warning along the lines of "Has been proven harmful to anyone who isn't white, male, and a property owner."

I'm not OK with yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater (or firing in a crowded theater, which is how I read this at first, because it has happened), but I think anyone has the right to call the president a liar, in Congress or elsewhere. Reason #1: For four years we had a president who lied habitually, so calling him a liar was merely speaking truth to power. I wish the press had done it more often. Reason #2: When the president isn't lying, calling him/her a liar is undeniably rude, but denying people the right to be rude strikes me as a step in the wrong direction. In some cases rudeness is justified, and when it isn't, it conveys useful information about the rude person.

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You may be neglecting what "the 2nd" was mainly about, i.e., why it made it into the Bill of Rights in the first place. Carol Anderson, in her book THE SECOND, and others have persuasively made the case that the 2nd Amendment and the militia it references were tools for suppressing and preventing slave revolts. Slavery no longer exists in the U.S., but if you look hard at who's most vociferously defending the 2nd Amendment and why, and whom guns are being marketed to (and how, and why), and why the ban on semi-automatic weapons (which are of minimal use in hunting or fending off predators) expired almost two decades ago and hasn't been reinstated -- you'll probably recognize a through thread between then and now, and realize that plenty of USians continue to find the 2nd "super useful [and] relevant."

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Since "history and tradition" (or some such phrase) is the new criterion for constitutional judgments, we should bring back slavery, right, Justice Thomas?

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And inter-racial marriage is banned, right?

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The consistency of the "originalists" is alarming enough, but even worse is how blatant they are about it. They seem to be awfully confident that they're in the majority -- or, if they're not, they're going to win anyway.

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No. Not yet anyway.

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This is untenable, a great moral failure and does not bode well for the future of this country.

And, it is true, that this country chooses (particularly red states) to live with gun deaths as the leading cause of childhood deaths.

It's insanity.

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Nope. It's worse. Insane people don't know what they are doing.

We do.

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I think a lot at night as the darkness comes and reflection is prompted. Peering into our country’s future I saw saw an authoritarian government banning the classics, dumbing down educational curriculum and promoting for profit schools. I saw women being relegated to second class citizenry no longer in control of their own bodies. I saw opportunities for brown skinned Americans dry up, making home ownership and substantial employment out of reach. Conversely, all beautiful public lands would be bought up by the ultra wealthy, oligarchs changing laws to fit their insatiable greed. I saw assault weapons brandished by rogue militias on every corner. No one was safe to walk the streets. And I said to myself, where can I go to escape this? Where is a safe place to spend the final third of my life?

This is what our nation will become if we are not diligent and acutely aware of the extreme right agenda. If we do not open our eyes and face this threat, this is what is in store for us.

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Some would say “that’s crazy thinking, but I see the same pictures in my mind’s eye. Almost as if it’s just a matter of time.

Yet, not much, as I see it, is being done…too many don’t vote who can. Too many oblivious to what the future could be like.

As you say, oligarchs in control, women’s rights taken away. a two-class society.

It is so incomprehensible that

seemingly, nothing can or is being done. The majority are against too much money in politics, huge tax breaks for the wealthiest, military-type weapons readily available and so much more.

I fear for my descendants but so sad for America.

Sorry so long.

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Thank you for your response. We are already part way there. I refer to it as realistic thinking. Facing the reality, then do what we can to alter it. Our purpose on this planet is to prepare/preserve it for future generations; with that in mind we stay diligent.

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Spot on. We need major distribution. An understanding of how our history of slaughter, kidnapping, enslavement and brutality, exploitation and Ronald Reagan’s strongman insanity to flip the middle class into a fearful, easily manipulatable mass for the economic harvesting of the plutocracy has warped us. We can change this. Biden sees it and is working on it for all he is worth. More to come.

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Lets go back to using guns on peoples inhabiting property you desire.

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I totally agree. IMHO the gun problem is the most pressing problem that we face.

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I see Republicans in control as the most pressing problem we face. If Democrats were totally in control they would be changing the problems that plague us, including gun problems. It's Democrats that want to limit lobbyists, gerrymandering, harms to the environment, address access to mental heath, change access to guns, workers rights, immigration, etc.

What we need is a better informed public who stops trusting and voting for Republicans. And for voters to stop thinking they are outsmarting the system by spliting their tickets.

The past two years of Democrat control of the Federal government had been the most positively productive period I've watched, but somehow it's gone unappreciated, that when they are in the majority, government moves the wheel.

Republicans standing the the way and guming up the works is our number one problem. In my opinion.

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Getting rid of the United Citizen decision by the corrupted SCOTUS is key.

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I feel disinformation and lies being accepted as truth are the pressing problem.

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I think you and chc55555 are both right.

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I've read the above comment and most of the ones in response. To me the core problem is not guns, or Republicans, or Citizens United, all of which are symptoms of the most pressing problem we have.

In short, all of these and more are a consequence of the successful attack on objective truth.

It has been in the self-interest of many, both "liberal" and "conservative", to chip away at the Enlightenment foundations of our belief systems. By blurring the line between truth and opinion, movement agendas across all kinds of political, cultural and moral spectra have been able to defend what would otherwise have been indefensible positions.

Issues are being argued today by people who have no common beliefs. Those in power retain power based on what in the past would have been objectively called lies, or thrown out of power based on other lies.

In this environment, as our common core of truth erodes, we have less in common with others and less motivation to critically consider our own beliefs, which turns those beliefs into prejudices. Ultimately we feel no need to consider the opinions, feelings or even lives of others who are not part of our belief system. As we find we have less in common in our core beliefs, we dehumanize those who feel differently than we do. Debates become arguments, which become street fights, which become genocide. It has happened before, and it can happen again.

This progression away from objective truth is not the exclusive province of the right. It is a result of a nearly universal movement away from education in critical thinking and the intellectual canon. And one of the least surprising aspects of this progression is that as we lose the ability to talk to each other we also lose the ability to understand ourselves. We chase symptoms instead of underlying causes. And the society transforms itself into a mob, focused on self-preservation and domination of those who disagree.

It has happened before, and it is happening now.

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Feb 16, 2023·edited Feb 16, 2023

I think you are right about the tangled weave of lies we weave. I think you are right about truth being abandoned. I think our underlying core beliefs are still with us however. We all put our shorts on in striking similarity. What you said about what we have come to accept for a vision of truth haunts us for sure. When we clean up that bullshit we will find our core beliefs in good working order.

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Given that there are more guns than people in the United States, I have concluded reluctantly that gun control, though necessary, will not appreciably improve conditions until I’m long in the ground. Hence, I’ve come to agree with Nicholas Kristoff of NYT that we should take a public health approach to guns. Start by requiring gun owners to carry insurance and to be liable for harm done by weapons that they control or should control, including those stolen that were not secured before the theft.

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We in Public Health have not been allowed to take a public health approach to gun violence. Legislation is needed to stop the Republicans from blocking the CDC and state health departments from doing their research and prevention (primary, secondary and tertiary) and enforcement work.

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We also have to think about why people feel the need to have so many guns-especially assault weapons. Who do they plan to assault and why? The mentality of gun ownership goes beyond just hunting and sports. Some want guns to intimidate and kill people they don’t like or agree with..remember MTG’s poster-she’s holding a weapon with pictures of Representative Omar and others. We have to find ways to work on finding peace..live and let live..

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None of the hunters I know would ever buy or use an assault weapon. Definately a different mentality, and one that needs to be confronted and treated (and evicted from elected office).

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Yes. The Tragedy of America.

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A ref to the other Valentine's Day History. Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school, Parkland Florida Feb. 14, 2018, where a crazy teen with military weapons killed 17 ppl. It wasn't our last mass school shooting and the last mass school shooting won't be the last because the cowardly bought-off politicians will not do a damned thing about it.

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Feb 15, 2023·edited Feb 15, 2023

I am a Michigan State University grad. This year's Valentine's Day has to be different. We must recognize the slaughter as The American War on Children. As MSU students in 1972, along with students in colleges all over the country, we marched to our capitols to end the Vietnam War. We succeeded. We must succeed now. Begin the marches.

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A physical response moved through me as I read your post, MaryPat, and now a chill. A nod and hug.

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Feb 15, 2023·edited Feb 15, 2023

Thanks so much Fern. My fellow MSU alum friends and I are devastated by this, and hope we can turn it into action, if only at our state level for now. We have the "Democrat Trifecta" in Michigan's House, Senate and Governor's office, with Democrat Secretary of State and A.G. And Gretchen Whitmer is as amazing and strong as she looks. We must end the American War on Children.

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It is a spectacular team. I'm familiar with their work, words and faces.

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Thank you MaryPat. Seriously you got me out of Viet Nam a month early. My aircraft went down a week after I left in the Song Dong Nai river all aboard perished. The protesting had a profound effect where congress abjectly failed. What Putin is doing to Ukrainians brings back nightmares of Vietnamese villages over run in the night. Like now, we were always too late. My anger.

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Pat, I struggle to find words. The men I knew who went to Vietnam never talked about it. Your experience is so horrific . When I was marching it felt like no one was listening or watching. Thanks for the assurance that we did make a difference. All those marches all over the country. Now we need to stop America's war on Children.

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…and on one another.

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Too late in what way, Pat? In terms of the US's military invasion in Vietnam, I'm not suggesting we get into the Domino Theory, fervid anti-communism, Vietnam's natural resources...were you indicating we never should of gotten ourselves militarily engaged with Vietnam or out sooner?

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Feb 16, 2023·edited Feb 16, 2023

I was too caught up Fern, in trying desperately to keep civilians from being slaughtered to even catch a breath. I didn’t get in to the war until 71 and out in 72. The politics were beyond any of us. We had our own problems with search and destroy missions in both Cambodia and Vietnam. We had problems as well with reconn ambushes. We had to respond to our Montagnard Allies who gave us real time enemy intel. Anytime anyone came under fire we had to go there. Many of our calls were to villages being attacked by the Viet Cong and NVA. The enemy had usually killed and kidnapped before we could get there. It was messy. Machetes saved bullets ropes hung leaders for examples. We were always too late. My war wasn’t about the niceties of who should and who shouldn’t do what. I faced the very real onslaught of the NVA coming down the Ho Che Minh Trail laying a swath of death. Every single day we faced from one to three combat assaults. We were skinny, busy, tired and bloody. Death was every day. As I saw it we were there save lives. I didn’t give a damn about the politics. The people were my concern. Everyone called it their own way. I would gladly forfeit my life today in a combat assault on Putin.

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There have been so many years! But Parkland and Sandy Hook live vividly in my mind, as do George Floyd and Tyre Nichols. And Emmet Till.

God knows how many others have been murdered/massacred and yet the people who are supposed to represent us continue to not just allow, but actually ENCOURAGE the murdering of our children.

Money is truly the god they worship.😪😡

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Well said, Fern.

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As a Michigan State University alum, I really appreciate this Fern. It is time to repeat what we did in 1972 as students, protesting the Vietnam war, march from our campuses to our state capitols and demand better gun control laws. We stopped the Vietnam War; We can stop The American War on Children.

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This breaks my heart 💔

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Like Robert Kennedy, like Joe Biden. Is someone who has lost a loved one just more compassionate, more caring, and a more capable leader?

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I think it is simply that circumstances that brutally tragic either make you or break you as a human being. No one's life is improved by having loss that swift and severe in it, but for those who can find a way to get through it with their soul somewhat intact, I imagine it brings a certain fearlessness. The worst thing most people can imagine happening to them has already happened to you, and yet you are still here with something to offer; what adverse outcome from any decision you make could be worse than what you already had to handle? Nothing, really.

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Very profound, Will. Especially when coming from a young person, as I feel many of us come to this much later in life, after we've suffered these losses.

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My girlfriend says this. She lost her twins at birth. She fears nothing. The worst has already happened.

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Feb 16, 2023·edited Feb 16, 2023

Marj, I am so sorry that your girlfriend experienced that in her life. I refrained from saying so earlier, as I doubted it would be appropriate coming from someone who has not experienced childbirth, but it needs to be said.

If I may, my Mom created a photo series called "Lost" you and/or your girlfriend might be interested in. You can find it here on her website: https://www.dianneyudelson.com/gallery.html?gallery=Lost&folio=Galleries She is a highly acclaimed fine art photographer, and this series was published in 50 countries. It pays tribute to miscarriage, obviously not the same as stillbirth, but the only experience that I can imagine would be adjacent. She herself experienced 11 miscarriages; she says my brother and I are her 2 living children. I cannot fully conceptualize the tenacity and determination it would take to keep going and trying after all those times... and she is the least bitter person I have ever known. The idea that women could ever be viewed as weaker leaves me continually bewildered.

(Note for the record: Not many, but some, have misinterpreted it as having a pro-life message... She is very staunchly pro-choice).

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--->>> "...a certain fearlessness..." <<<---

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Very good response. I hadn’t bought of this before.

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Not always. There are people whose hearts are open to the sorrows of others even when they have had none that close to home

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You mean like President Biden?

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Helen, I think WE have to do it. Barack Obama cares as we do, nevertheless, he could not bring about change. Biden hasn't managed it or to get a national voting rights bill passed. WE have to force 'them' all -- all the politicians -- however much they are paid-off to continue this massive inhumanity, they can't continue when they lose elections -- that is what WE can do.

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How? I'm in.

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Feb 15, 2023·edited Feb 15, 2023

Join a grassroots organization or two that you respect. Ask the people you know for recommendations if they are active and engaged in social/political/economic/educational/local issues:

MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Join a Group Today

Local groups build and wield power in ways that individuals can’t. To create change, you need the power that comes with working together.

https://indivisible.org/defeat-maga

https://statesproject.org/

https://www.startguide.org/orgs/orgs00.html

'Collected here are names and brief descriptions of approximately 500 leading organizations in the United States working for progressive change on a national level, grouped into categories that roughly describe the main focus of their work, with links to their websites. Use the links below to locate organizations by category or use the search box to find organizations by name.'

https://www.startguide.org/orgs/orgs00.html

'Activism, Inc. introduces America to an increasingly familiar political actor: the canvasser. She's the twenty-something with the clipboard, stopping you on the street or knocking on your door, the foot soldier of political campaigns.'

'Granted unprecedented access to the "People's Project," an unknown yet influential organization driving left-leaning grassroots politics, Dana Fisher tells the true story of outsourcing politics in America. Like the major corporations that outsourced their customer service to companies abroad, the grassroots campaigns of national progressive movements—including Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, Save the Children, and the Human Rights Campaign—have been outsourced at different times to this single organization. During the 2004 presidential campaign, the Democratic Party followed a similar outsourcing model for their canvassing.' (Dana R. Fisher is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Columbia University)

https://www.sup.org/books/title/?id=8743

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Thank you.

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Would you believe I have until this moment never encountered StartGuide? What a fantastic resource! Bookmarked immediately! Thank you, Fern!

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Yes, he comes to mind often in that respect. However, I think the characteristics of compassion and empathy are already a big part of the person and the terrible loss of a loved one results in their expansion to the point of taking action.

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Doesn't that describe Joe Biden?

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Joe Biden

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Fascinating, and sad and inspiring at the same time. Thank you Dr. Richardson. I enjoyed reading it.

After the mention of McKinley, I can't resist reprinting the following, which appeared nearly a decade ago in the NYT:

It was the greatest coffee run in American history. The Ohio boys had been fighting since morning, trapped in the raging battle of Antietam, in September 1862. Suddenly, a 19-year-old William McKinley appeared, under heavy fire, hauling vats of hot coffee. The men held out tin cups, gulped the brew and started firing again. “It was like putting a new regiment in the fight,” their officer recalled. Three decades later, McKinley ran for president in part on this singular act of caffeinated heroism.

At the time, no one found McKinley’s act all that strange. For Union soldiers, and the lucky Confederates who could scrounge some, coffee fueled the war. Soldiers drank it before marches, after marches, on patrol, during combat. In their diaries, “coffee” appears more frequently than the words “rifle,” “cannon” or “bullet.” Ragged veterans and tired nurses agreed with one diarist: “Nobody can ‘soldier’ without coffee.

https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/07/09/how-coffee-fueled-the-civil-war/?_r=1

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I LOVED learning this about McKinley!! Thanks so very much for sharing!!!

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Now, if only Napoleon had known that an army also marches on its coffee. J S Bach knew, and wrote a lovely piece of chamber comedy on the subject.

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I love the Coffee Cantata. The ending quartet is wonderful.

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Feb 15, 2023·edited Feb 15, 2023

Deborah Carroll (NYC) - "I love the Coffee Cantata."

Cantata BWV 211

Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht - Kaffeekantate

English Translation in Interlinear Format

Cantata BWV 211 - Coffee Cantata

Keep quiet, don’t chatter

Event: Cantata performed by the Collegium Musicum in Zimmermann's Coffee House

Text: Christian Friedrich Henrici (Picander)

Characaters: Liesgen (Soprano), Narrator (Tenor), Schlendrian (Bass)

1

Recitative: Narrator [Tenor]

Continuo

Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht

Keep quiet, don’t chatter

Und höret, was itzund geschicht:

and hear what’s going on now:

Da kömmt Herr Schlendrian

here comes Herr Schlendrian

Mit seiner Tochter Liesgen her,

with his daughter Liesgen

Er brummt ja wie ein Zeidelbär;

he’s growling like a honey-bear -

Hört selber, was sie ihm getan!

hear for yourselves what she has done to him.

2

Aria: Herr Schlendrian [Bass]

Violino I/II, Viola, Continuo

Hat man nicht mit seinen Kindern

Don’t we have with our children

Hunderttausend Hudelei!

a hundred thousand muddles !

Was ich immer alle Tage

What always every day I

Meiner Tochter Liesgen sage,

say to my daughter Liesgen

Gehet ohne Frucht vorbei.

goes in one ear and out the other

[lit. goes by without profit]

3

Recitative: Schlendrian [Bass], Liesgen [Soprano]

Continuo

Schlendrian:

Du böses Kind, du loses Mädchen,

You bad child, you wild girl!

Ach! wenn erlang ich meinen Zweck:

Oh! If only I could have my way :

Tu mir den Coffee weg!

get rid of coffee!

Liesgen:

Herr Vater, seid doch nicht so scharf!

Father, don’t be so hard!

Wenn ich des Tages nicht dreimal

If three times a day I can’t

Mein Schälchen Coffee trinken darf,

drink my little cup of coffee,

So werd ich ja zu meiner Qual

then I would become so upset

Wie ein verdorrtes Ziegenbrätchen

that I would be like dried up piece of roast goat.

4

Aria: Liesgen [Soprano]

Flauto traverso, Continuo

Ei! wie schmeckt der Coffee süße,

Ah! how sweet coffee tastes!

Lieblicher als tausend Küsse,

Lovelier than a thousand kisses,

Milder als Muskatenwein.

smoother than muscatel wine.

Coffee, Coffee muss ich haben,

Coffee, I must have coffee,

Und wenn jemand mich will laben,

and if anyone wants to give me a treat,

Ach, so schenkt mir Coffee ein!

ah!, just give me some coffee!

5

Recitative: Schlendrian [Bass], Liesgen [Soprano]

Continuo

Schlendrian:

Wenn du mir nicht den Coffee lässt,

If you don’t give up coffee,

So sollst du auf kein Hochzeitfest,

you won’t be going to any wedding

Auch nicht spazierengehn.

and you won’t go out walking either.

Liesgen:

Ach ja!

Alright then !

Nur lasset mir den Coffee da!

Just leave me my coffee!

Schlendrian:

Da hab ich nun den kleinen Affen!

I’ll get the little minx now!

Ich will dir keinen Fischbeinrock nach itzger Weite schaffen.

I shan’t get you the latest fashion in just your size.

Liesgen:

Ich kann mich leicht darzu verstehn.

I can easily do without that.

Schlendrian:

Du sollst nicht an das Fenster treten

You’re not to stand at the window

Und keinen sehn vorübergehn!

and you won’t see anyone going by!

Liesgen:

Auch dieses; doch seid nur gebeten

I don’t mind that either; but please , I beg you,

Und lasset mir den Coffee stehn!

just let me keep my coffee!

Schlendrian:

Du sollst auch nicht von meiner Hand

What’s more you won’t get from me

Ein silbern oder goldnes Band

a silver or gold ribbon

Auf deine Haube kriegen!

to put on your bonnet!

Liesgen:

Ja, ja! nur lasst mir mein Vergnügen!

That’s fine! Just leave me my pleasure!

Schlendrian:

Du loses Liesgen du,

You’re impossible Liesgen, you are,

So gibst du mir denn alles zu?

you would give up everything I say?

6

Aria: Schlendrian [Bass]

Continuo

Mädchen, die von harten Sinnen,

Girls with obstinate minds

Sind nicht leichte zu gewinnen.

are not easily won over.

Doch trifft man den rechten Ort,

But if you hit the right spot,

O! so kömmt man glücklich fort.

oh then you’re in luck.

7

Recitative: Schlendrian [Bass], Liesgen [Soprano]

Continuo

Schlendrian:

Nun folge, was dein Vater spricht!

Now follow what your father says!

Liesgen:

In allem, nur den Coffee nicht.

In everything else, but not coffee.

Schlendrian:

Wohlan! so musst du dich bequemen,

Well then! You must get used to the idea

Auch niemals einen Mann zu nehmen.

that you won’t have a husband either.

Liesgen:

Ach ja! Herr Vater, einen Mann!

Oh yes! Father, a husband!

Schlendrian:

Ich schwöre, dass es nicht geschicht.

I swear, that won’t happen.

Liesgen:

Bis ich den Coffee lassen kann?

Until I can give up coffee?

Nun! Coffee, bleib nur immer liegen!

Right! Coffee, remain forever untouched

Herr Vater, hört, ich trinke keinen nicht.

Father,listen, I won’t drink any at all.

Schlendrian:

So sollst du endlich einen kriegen!

Then you’ll have a husband!

8

Aria: Liesgen [Soprano]

Violino I/II, Viola, Cembalo, Continuo

Heute noch,

This very day,

Lieber Vater, tut es doch!

dear father, do it now!

Ach, ein Mann!

Ah, a husband!

Wahrlich, dieser steht mir an!

That’s just right for me!

Wenn es sich doch balde fügte,

If only it could happen at once,

Dass ich endlich vor Coffee,

so that at last instead of coffee

Eh ich noch zu Bette geh,

before I go to bed

Einen wackern Liebsten kriegte!

I could get a lusty lover!

9

Recitative: Narrator [Tenor]

Continuo

Nun geht und sucht der alte Schlendrian,

Now old Schlendrian goes off and looks out

Wie er vor seine Tochter Liesgen

for his daughter Liesgen

Bald einen Mann verschaffen kann;

to see if he can get her a husband soon.

Doch, Liesgen streuet heimlich aus:

But Liesgen lets it be secretly known:

Kein Freier komm mir in das Haus,

no suitor of mine should come to the house

Er hab es mir denn selbst versprochen

unless he himself has promised

Und rück es auch der Ehestiftung ein,

and it is written also in the marriage contract

Dass mir erlaubet möge sein,

that I shall be permitted

Den Coffee, wenn ich will, zu kochen.

to make coffee whenever I want.

10

Chorus (Terzetto) [Soprano, Tenor, Bass]

Flauto traverso, Violino I/II, Viola, Continuo

Die Katze lässt das Mausen nicht,

The cat does not leave the mouse,

Die Jungfern bleiben Coffeeschwestern.

young ladies remain coffee addicts.

Die Mutter liebt den Coffeebrauch,

The mother loves her cup of coffee

Die Großmama trank solchen auch,

the grandmother drank it also.

Wer will nun auf die Töchter lästern!

Who can blame the daughters!

https://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/BWV211-Eng3.htm

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Would have been nice to have a link to a recording of this bit. Hesring it with it's musical accomaniment would have been most appreciated by many of us. Danke Shone Appologies I could'nt find the "umlaute" on my old keyboard.

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I have pasted this into my computer so that I can enjoy the coffee and learn some more German. (I know a very little bit, but somehow I really like the sound of it. I don't know where I got that.)

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Isn't it beautiful? the heartfelt cries, of coffee! coffee! And she cleverly gets her own way.

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Thanks, David, for this...she said while drinking her first cup of coffee this morning.

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I've just started my first (I get up late). There is nothing I ingest that would pain me more to give up than coffee.

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McKinley's wartime nickname was "Coffee Bill." I am on my way this morning to volunteer at the McKinley Presidential Center an Museum in his hometown of Canton, Ohio.

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McKinley was a man after my own heart. Or perhaps I should say I'm a man after his own heart. Thanks Kathleen!

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I am named after my grandfather, William McKinley Flarsheim, who was named for the recently martyred president, but this story is new to me. Thanks for sharing.

It reminds me of a story from the fight to relieve Bastogne in WWII. General Patton was moving among the troops and was furious to discover a civilian woman near the front lines (I think she was wearing a nightgown and house coat, too.) Then, he was informed that she was being hot coffee to the troops, at which point he presented her with his general’s stars in gratitude.

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Yours is a wonderful story! I'm probably too old for a war zone, but I'd love to go to Ukraine and serve coffee to the troops!

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Well, Gen. Patton was FULL of surprises, wasn't he????

Wonderful story. Thank you for sharing!

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Wow! Thank you David

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How timely as I sit here with my first cup of hot, black coffee. The South due to embargoes probably had to do with home grown Chicory more than real coffee. It was still available, mixed with coffee in my youth in the South.

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They served that chicory infused coffee at the long-ago departed New Orleans Cafe in the Adams Morgan section of Wash. DC, where I lived for a number of years. But I got to a point where I strongly disliked the chicory and quit having coffee there.

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In WWII coffee was rationed in the U.S. and Postum made a resurgence. Again, not Coffee. Probably another reason Chicory coffee stayed on so long in the South.

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And my parents are gone. I'd like to ask them about the coffee rationing during the war.

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From the Theater of the Absurd : The Coffee Cartels Thank everyone for their patronidge and addiction to our wonerful product. Don't forget your Baileys . . .

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Heather I never comment though almost daily I read your article and each time it changes my perspective and information. What a gift you are! Thanks Dorothy

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Dr. Richarson, before I comment on tonight's Letter I have a request...please, please join Spoutible. I, along with many others, left Twitter months ago. Found a new social media "home" at Spoutible. No bots. No trolls. No Nazis. We miss you!

Theodore Roosevelt's sad story about losing his wife and mother on the same day is not one I remember learning when touring his home several years ago. I admired him for his passion for our forests and conservation, even though he was also a hunter. I don't think we would have our wonderful national parks today without his efforts as President.

I tend to be more curious than is often good for me, so I looked up Alice Roosevelt Longworth. She deserves her own Letter from an American as a feisty, independent woman before her time.

Thank you for always educating your readers with history we may not have learned growing up. Your Letters should be made into a book. I am sure I am not the only one who would use your book as a historical reference over and over again,.

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I shared one of the professors letters with a Trump supporting friend while tfg was still in office. He responded that she was just a left wing hack. Such is the mind set of the cult supporters. I, for one, feel she is a National treasure. Were she to publish such a book, would it end up on the banned books list? These are scary times.

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She would be banned because she tells the history using facts, not some whitewash of our history. I am just starting Pekka Hamalainen's Indigenous Continent which tells the story from the Native American side of the history and he starts long before Europeans arrived. I do not have good feelings about Mt. Rushmore because the whole area is sacred to the Lakota.

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These are horrifying times.

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When cults rule…

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I do agree with you. I had been saving Prof. Richardson’s letters until storage space ran out, and wondered if she would ever consider a compilation of her daily letters, maybe in a soft cover publication.

it would make such a wonderful gift to give friends and family members.

Have to add I’m very well aware of her unbelievably full schedule, but maybe some of her faithful fans can come up with a suggestion.

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LFAA's are automaticaly saved in the "Archive" file ... just put the cursor on "Archive", click & enjoy.

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Thank you. Assumed Archives and Folders were also going to be unavailable, so started to delete those, also. I had been saving Dr. Richardson’s letters in one of the folders.

I appreciate knowing that Archives is safe!

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STORAGE SPACE RAN OUT

In the 1980s to this century I wrote a bunch of Op-Ed letters and saved xerografic copies of them & news articles on paper in binders on various subjects, an archive (hoard) of my personal interaction of the history of my time. Then on a move, discovering that it was hard managing a bookshelf full of binders, I gave them to FIU Special Collections Library, after scanning them for myself.

Now, everything I have is stored electronically on an external hard drive, easier to disburse and share with others. I have 560+ of HCR Letters stored, mostly those on which I comment and dialogue with others. (I may store this one, with our comments) :)

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Yes, and external hard drives are not expensive. I have one with 1T capacity.

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Mine is only 300GB and according to the properties of that drive I have only used 50GB. Hard to believe that all my scans of Fotos, Artwork & Writing as well as everything else of interest on the Web that I have saved - MY WHOLE LIFE - is on 50GB.

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I went for the 1T drive because the price differential was minimal and it seemed reasonable to have too much than not enough.

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Rebel408, I looked up Spoutible and this platform has apparently had some severe security issues already. Be careful there-but, these things evolve- please let us know more as you spend more time there.

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Oh, I’d love to hear more about Alice Roosevelt Longworth!

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Kristy Koth - "Oh, I’d love to hear more about Alice Roosevelt Longworth!"

You could start here: https://www.google.com/search?q=alice+roosevelt+longworth&newwindow=1&sxsrf=AJOqlzUaAbZHexK3BIy2aawZbTziXwk1qw%3A1676466716487&ei=HNrsY76tHdKC0PEPq5mO8As&gs_ssp=eJzj4tTP1TcwKk4xNzBg9JJMzMlMTlUoys8vTi1LzSlRyMnPSy_PLyrJAADkeQ0Y&oq=alice+roosevelt+longworth&gs_lcp=Cgxnd3Mtd2l6LXNlcnAQARgBMgQIIxAnMhAILhCABBAUEIcCELEDEIMBMgUIABCABDIFCAAQgAQyBQgAEIAEMgUIABCABDIFCAAQgAQyBQgAEIAEMgUIABCABDIFCAAQgAQ6CggAEEcQ1gQQsANKBAhBGABQyldYyldgvooBaARwAXgAgAFKiAFKkgEBMZgBAKABAcgBBsABAQ&sclient=gws-wiz-serp

My favorite quote of her's is:

"𝘐𝘧 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦𝘯'𝘵 𝘨𝘰𝘵 𝘢𝘯𝘺𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘯𝘪𝘤𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘢𝘺 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘢𝘯𝘺𝘣𝘰𝘥𝘺 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘴𝘪𝘵 𝘯𝘦𝘹𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘮𝘦."

For many more go to: https://quotes.thefamouspeople.com/alice-roosevelt-longworth-4225.php

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She was a force in her own right

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Feb 15, 2023·edited Feb 15, 2023

She was a woman far ahead of her time!

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Heather's books are also available on Audioooks.com. I have always enjoyed reading and since my eyes are failing and my thinking capabilities are diminishing I find refuge here and there thru these sources. My computer narrator is now another best friend. Just to broaden our availabilty of source for learning. Thank you ALL for your valued participaction here on the Substack.

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I am sorry your eyes are failing. Life throws us hard adjustments.

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I have just recently begun to get info on audiobooks. I

Look for a place to type in author or subject matter but no luck. Any help would be much appreciated.

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Sorry for the delay . . . Audible is an Amazon company here is the link to the login / sign-up page. search is just below the lodin area : https://www.audible.com/?source_code=AUDOR2720910199QWT

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I've always loved that "Alice" quote from President Theodore Roosevelt: " I can do one of two things. I can be President of the United States or I can control Alice Roosevelt. I cannot possibly do both."

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I read these columns on SubStack, having already left Twitter and Facebook.

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Hunters are among our greatest conservationists and environmentalist. All the hunters I know are deeply respectful of the forest animals and birds. Their hunting license fees support nature.

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Spoutible? Look me up...would love to follow you.

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No. @ISJ408. Use the "search" option in the right hand corner.

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Couldn’t find you Jeribo

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Hi Rebel! Marj here. I hope you don't mind I joined you over on spoutible. Thx for tip!

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🙋🏻‍♀️

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Sounds like Alice had puerperal fever, also called childbed fever , a strep infection in the uterus. I know, because I had it in 1968 in NYC, but I also had penicillin…n

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Doctors didn’t wash their hands either in those days

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The percentage of history we muddled through while getting even the most basic stuff wrong in every aspect is staggering.

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100%?

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"Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong" by James Loewen. I didn't teach high school, but I used this book as reference in planning some of my 4th and 5th grade history lessons. 🤯

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Ignaz Semmelweis figured this out in 1850 and the doctors wouldn't listen. They proudly went, filthy, from post-mortem to labouring women. Childbirth in hospital was a death sentence. Semmelweis proved the point and sacrificed himself in 1865.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmxUsAI29fw

Dr. Burzynski's approach to treating cancer patients...

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A most bizarre story

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That was just the dawning of the understanding about sterilization. It had been laughed at, belittled and rebuked up until the time they discovered the tiny germs that cause BIG problems.

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It was sort of a Dr. Macho thing, to have that mark of being so dramatically involved in life and death. Midwives on the other hand, did wash their hands, and had a strangely better set of outcomes in terms of more healthy babies and mothers. Did Dr.s start washing their hands? Nope. Medical societies tried to get get midwives banned in many areas of the country.

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Feb 15, 2023·edited Feb 15, 2023

And men STILL think they know better about women's health issues. (Apologies to the enlightened men on this forum)

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Feb 15, 2023·edited Feb 15, 2023

No apology necessary. We're still fighting alongside Planned Parenthood, NARAL, et alii, against the current majority in the SCOTUS and all their supporters. We have granddaughters.

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Feb 15, 2023·edited Feb 15, 2023

Many were ¨butchers¨ who went from one place to another wearing the same bloody apron. https://www.sciencehistory.org/distillations/from-barbers-and-butchers-to-modern-surgeons

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Amazing to read this. I love that you share so much with us. Thank you for your gift of reminding us how we repeat herstory and how so much of our herstory is left out.

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I wish Prof HCR could have been my high school history teacher! That was 60 years ago, but I know that my 14 year old self would have had a much better attitude about history.

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Good history teachers are good story tellers. And Cox Richardson is a very good story teller indeed.

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Might have been a challenge even for a bright 5 year old, though! ;-}

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Just watched David Hogg on Lawrence O’ Donnell’s The Last Word. Today is when Marjorie Stoneman’s High School students were gunned down. He and Victor Shi are heavily involved in trying to make sense of things after yesterday’s shootings. Hogg makes it very clear that his generation are victims of mass shootings. Hits you right in your heart.

I actually knew about Teddy Roosevelt’s mother and wife. Such a tragedy to suffer on the very same day. He couldn’t even be joyful that he had a baby who survived. He retreated and reinvented himself. Seeing his notes and “X” also hits the heart...hard. I wish everyone a peaceful day today and if you’re lucky, love the one you’re with.

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Your final phrase caused me to smile....a line from a song.

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And every time I see David Hogg on the news, I wonder if this is the time our congress hears him. These shootings will continue until every one of us knows someone close who was a victim. MSU, Class of '74.

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Feb 15, 2023·edited Feb 15, 2023

MSU Class of '74, Nursing. We alum must march on the Capitol like we did in '72 to stop the Vietnam War, to stop this American War on Children.

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"I can't stand the pain" ... "can't can't can't stand the Pain" ... "bringin' me bitter misery";

all apologies to Ann Peebles.

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The never ending statement, “This must stop...” When it didn’t stop after Sandy Hook - just one crazy, nothing to see here - we were doomed. Sympathies to MSU and to El Paso, again.

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I think it was Keanu Reeves who said when those you love are gone, you are truly alone. Reinventing yourself is way easier when you are young…

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As I was reading HCR's letter this morning, my heart was also breaking for the Parkland, Florida community who endured that horrible tragedy on Valentine's Day 5 years ago. (It didn't surprise me that the discussion above quickly turned to gun violence.) Having such loss as Theodore Roosevelt and the families of Parkland, Florida had to experience on this one day that is set aside to honor love strips this anniversary of its usual meaning forever. However, I'm reminded of the philosopher and poet Kahlil Gibran, who teaches us how closely joy and sorrow are intertwined. "Joy is your sorrow unmasked." Thank you, Dr. Richardson, for your timely historical letters that prompt such thought-provoking discussions among your readers.

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Oh, Carol, you struck a nerve. Kahil Gibran brought me a lot of peace when I was a college student in the early 70’s. I had a large poster of his image over my bed. Thanks!

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Feb 15, 2023·edited Feb 15, 2023

Me, too. At Michigan State University, Class of '74.

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Marlene and MaryPat—My brother's girlfriend introduced me to The Prophet when I was in 8th grade, and Gibran has been a constant in my life ever since. BTW, I graduated from college in "68. I think we are three of many whose philosophy of life has been shaped by him. Quite a blessing!

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Marlene Lerner-Bigley (CA) - "Just watched David Hogg on Lawrence O’ Donnell’s The Last Word. Today is when Marjorie Stoneman’s High School students were gunned down. He and Victor Shi are heavily involved in trying to make sense of things after yesterday’s shootings. Hogg makes it very clear that his generation are victims of mass shootings."

See also: MSU student who survived Sandy Hook massacre speaks out after shooting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eB-oZEwl4TM

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Yes ❤️‍🩹 As did ones from Oxford 1 1/2 years ago.

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MSU Class of '74, Nursing. We alum must march on the Capitol like we did in '72 to stop the Vietnam War, to stop this American War on Children.

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DC? I'm up for that. Gives me an excuse to visit my daughter who lives there. MSU Comp Sci '74.

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In 1973 when I was working as a nurse extern at Sparrow Hospital my senior year, one of the staff nurses took me aside and said, "Computer Science. Take some classes" - like "Plastics" in The Graduate. She was right! I suspect you have had a phenomenal career.

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I have three granddaughters, three grandsons. I am an unqualified success, one of the richest men I know.

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Congrats! Three sons, 1 daughter (surprise 5 years after my tubes were tied), and 5 grandkids! Rich indeed!

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Yes, Ron, thanks for posting the link which I had neglected to include.

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I always felt sad for his daughter Alice.

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I sit here in my 75th year (enjoying life immensely) still shocked that Roosevelt had such an impact on this nation and was only 60 when he died. It is hard to comprehend how intensely he lived those 60 years. Doris Kearns Goodwin captures so much of his intensity in her book, The Bully Pulpit. It is somehow not surprising that he eluded death on so many occasions, including when he was shot in the chest but was saved by a combination of his speech double folded in his coat pocket and a metal eyeglass case.

It is hard to imagine the pain he endured to lose his wife and mother on the same day in the same house. He truly was 'the man in the arena.'

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Another good book is "River of Doubt" about his time in Brazil mapping the Rio da Dúvida. Indeed intense living for a very short 60 years.

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Lawyers, in particular, may well appreciate this little tit-bit about Roosevelt. In his recollections of his days as a student as to why he dropped out of law studies at Columbia Law School, Roosevelt wrote: ‘The caveat emptor side of the law, like to caveat emptor side of business, seemed to me repellent; it did not make for social fair dealing. The “let the buyer beware” maxim, when translated into actual practice, whether in law or business, tends to translate itself further into the seller making his profit at the expense of the buyer, instead of by a bargain which shall be to the profit of both. It did not seem to me that the law was framed to discourage as it should sharp practice, and all other kinds of bargains except those which are fair and of benefit to both sides’: T Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt: An Autobiography, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1921, p 55.

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America has always glorified business over human beings. Check out the concept of “puffery” in US Supreme Court jurisprudence. Puffery is the legalization of lying. Under this American legal construct, Chevrolet could advertise a Vega as “the best car ever.” Legalized lying. Impunity. No consequences.

This immoral & unethical environment has left us in our current position of bankruptcy. We established a low standard for honesty decades ago, and, like sheep, we’ve conditioned ourselves to accept it. Bend over, here it comes again.

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William, here again, Yuval Noah Harari's take on human development in his book Sapiens seems pertinent:

It wasn't until the Age of Industrialization starting roughly in the 1820's that governments in general, especially in England & USA where the governments were trying to support nascent rail (and transportation) industries. Governments passed much legislation and subsequent legal changes which supported business & industry at the expense of the millennia of preeminence of the family in managing and supporting individuals.

These competing movements, business and industry vs the individual and their family become the balance which successful governments strive to maintain in seeking the most good for the most people, i.e.- the general welfare. Current governments such as those in Scandinavian and many European states with what many see as "socialist" states seem most successful at providing for a balance which maximizes human happiness.

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The East India Company is an example of how massive, profit seeking corporations become quasi-governments and even invasionary military forces when essentially free of regulation, especially when insinuated into governmental authority itself. They committed war crimes in India and had their tea dumped into Boston harbor for their crony tax status. Organized crime and government corruption goes way back.

I spent a little over 3 weeks in Sweden. I'm sure Swedish society has its fortes and foibles, but I certainly saw thriving free enterprise coexisting with a more "socialist" approach, not the smoking hell hole Republicans would lead you to expect.

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