1st Terrorist Threat Against USA By Islamic Extremists
April 27, 2009

Happy Birthday Earth?

Happy Birthday Universe?

On This Date In History: It was on this date in 4977 BC that the Universe was created according to German mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler.  In the early 17th century, Kepler made this calculation and claim.  Kepler is and was a noted and important figure in the development of the science of astronomy and physics.  But, he was just a bit off.  Today, the estimate for the age of the Universe is thought to be slightly different…like 13.7 billion years different.  Remember that next time you hear some scientists who come up with absolutes.

Jefferson Didn't Declare War, He Simply Ordered An Attack On Muslim Dominated Nations...Sound Familiar?

Jefferson Didn't Declare War, He Simply Ordered An Attack On Muslim Dominated Nations...Sound Familiar?

Ever heard of the Barbary Pirates?  They were from the Muslim states of Morocco, Algeria, Tunis, and Tripolitania on the Mediterranean.  In other words, on the other side of the Atlantic.  In the early 19th century, these guys would seize American merchant ships and then ransom their cargo and crew to the US.  President Jefferson got tired of paying ransoms and so he took action.  Interestingly though, the much thought of Constitutionally-minded Jefferson did not ask for a declaration of war.  Instead, as Commander in Chief,  he simply sent the Navy and Marines to invade. 

Barbary Coast 1st Base For Terrorists?

Barbary Coast 1st Base For Terrorists?

The war with the Barbary Pirates went on for about 4 years.  In 1804, with the war still going on, the US Senate had a drunken partyto simply show support for the undeclared war.  Today, they protest.  Anyway, the Americans and some mercenaries, following a 500 mile trek from Egypt, on this date in 1805 attacked Tripolitania and “deposed” the ruler and installed his brother, who was more sympathetic to American interests.  This is where the verse of “to the shores of Tripoli” in the Marine Hymn comes from. 

This paved the way for the end of the first Barbary Pirates War in June 1805.  Many scholars point to the threat from the Islamic extremists in the 18th and early 19th centuries as the first terrorist threat to the United States. And to think, people today think America has never had a Congressionally funded, undeclared war against a Muslim state half way around the world with the purpose regime change before.  And it was Jefferson’s fault!

Happy 47th Birthday Don Dumas, wherever you are.

Weather Bottom Line:  The story remains the same.  Upper 80’s again on Monday.  Tuesday rain chances increase with a few t’storms.  There may be some gusty winds but severe limits will probably not be breached.  The front that comes through on Tuesday will get hung up to our south and then migrate slowly back our way until a cold front sweeps through late Friday, hopefully to clear things out for Derby Day.  I’m not really changing my thinking much and I’m lazy so for more details, look at yesterday’s entry.

alphainventions

http://alphainventions.com/

President Subverts Constitution? Space Heaters No Good.
January 18, 2009

Tom Jefferson Depicted As Constitutional Destroyer

Tom Jefferson Depicted As Constitutional Destroyer

 

 

Lewis and Clark

Lewis and Clark

On This Date in History:

There are two things that we see as normal. One is the idea that Thomas Jefferson was the ultimate arbiter of the Constitution. The other is that the President submits a complete budget. Well, people forget that President Jefferson sent American troops and ships all the way to North Africa to fight the Barbary Pirates, who were Muslims. It was an undeclared war yet Jefferson maintained that it was Constitutional even though he didn’t go to Congress for a war declaration. On this date in 1803, Jefferson secretly sent a request to Congress for funding for the Lewis and Clark expedition as he was afraid of the formal, Constitutional budgeting process.

Map of Expedition

Map of Expedition

Jefferson had already determined in 1802 to explore the west. He had already determined that his personal
secretary, Meriwether Lewis, would lead the expedition. He asked Lewis to come up with the costs necessary and they ended up at $2500 which included nearly $700 for gifts to the Indians.

Small problem. The expedition would take the men beyond US territory. So, it was a big secret. So much so that for months only maybe a few people beyond Jefferson and Lewis knew about it. So secret, that Jefferson was advised to not include it in his budget request to Congress. Instead, he sent a secret message to Congress asking for the money. Congress, I suppose, secretly approved the money. They probably didn’t care too much since they had just approved over $9 million for the purchase of Louisiana. Actually, Jefferson only wanted to buy New Orleans from the French but Napoleon was short on money for his latest military escapades and wasn’t able to defend the territory anyway. So, he offered up what amounts to about a third of the Continental United States along with New Orleans for $15 million and Jefferson jumped on it and the treaty was signed on April 30, 1803. It was rather controversial….see…many constitutional scholars didn’t think that the purchase was Constitutional either. Jefferson just did it.

Lewis Meets Clark Near Louisville

Lewis Meets Clark Near Louisville

Eventually, Lewis chose his old military friend William Clark to be his second. The expedition was originally expected to have ten men besides Lewis but that number grew to nearly 3 dozen. Most historical references have the expedition starting on May 14, 1804 near St. Louis but local historians point out that Lewis got his crew together in Louisville several weeks before so locals say it really started here. But, St. Louis was just about as far as civilization stretched so how could someone explore something that was already inhabited. Anyway, one of the guys they took with them was Sargent Charles Floyd of Clarksville. There’s a county on the sunny side of Louisville that bears his name. He is the only fatality of the expedition, having died of appendicitis a few months after they began.

Anyway….the point here is that you need to check things out before you assume things are true. Jefferson, though one of our founding fathers, was more than capable of navigating around the Constitution when it suited his fancy and when he thought it was in the best interest of the nation for the long term. In each instance, he seems to have been correct. Today, Presidents are rarely given that benefit of the doubt.

A Cold House Sucks

A Cold House Sucks

Weather Bottom Line: Space heaters suck.  I’ve got three of them in my house and its still freezing.  Snow White and I got under 3 blankets and had the two fat cats on board to keep us warm last night.  Figures that my heater would go out on a Friday night.  Can’t get a new one until Monday.  Good news is that its warming up. Bad news is that the warm up only takes us to the low 30’s for Sunday and Monday and maybe Tuesday.  Come along Wednesday or Thursday we get to the 40’s again and by then I’m sure I’ll have a heater and be lighter about $2000.  I need a bailout.

Global Warming Update: September Was a Heater; A Man Obsessed With the Oregon Trail
October 9, 2008

Global Temp Anomaly Sept 2008

Global Temp Anomaly Sept 2008

We had anywhere from a half inch to the north to 1.6 inches from Louisville and points south from our first good rainmaker in some time. I think that last time we had an inch or more of rain in the area was late July. We had a precip deficit in January, a big surplus in Feb, Mar, Apr and May followed by monthly deficits ever since. I bet the end of the year will be average. But averages can be deceiving. In this case, the average will not reflect the feast or famine nature of the year. Look for great conditions through the weekend. Cool lows and warm afternoons. After Thursday, we’ll be in the 80’s each day through the middle of next week.

It was Hot around the World in September: The Global Climate Report is in for September from the University of Alabama Huntsville and it reports a global spike in world temperatures. That is a bit of a oddity for this year as there have been below the 20 year average for four months, including 3 of the previous 4. August had an anomoly of -.01. June was -.114, May -.18 and January -.046. The other 4 months were all up less than .01. But September skyrocketed by +.161. What I have been noticing is that the southern hemisphere has been decidedly cooler for most of the past year but this difference this month was that the southern hemisphere joined the northern hemisphere as being warmer than the 20 year average, hence, the big spike. So, the headline for the papers will be that September was the warmest of the year. The should cool the heels of the global warming skeptics and stoke the fires of the Global Warming Doomsdayers who have had a rough go of it for the better part of a year. Here is the September 2008 Global Climate Report summary from the UAH. I’ve referenced these guys for some time now and so you may find it useful to find out more about the methodology and who is behind the UAH research team by CLICKING HERE.

Global Temperature Anomaly from 20 year avg through Sept. 2008

UAH
2008 January -0.046
2008 February 0.020
2008 March 0.094
2008 April 0.015
2008 May -0.180
2008 June -0.114
2008 July 0.048
2008 August -0.010
2008 Sept. 0.161

John Jacob Astor

John Jacob Astor

On This Date in History: I’m sure many people have heard of the Oregon Trail but probably aren’t familiar with where it is except Oregon. In the early 19th Century, Lewis and Clark gained the blessings and financial support (Probably Not Constitutional) of President Jefferson. That paved the way for commerce with John Jacob Astor leading the way in the American fur trade. Again, it was Thomas Jefferson who encouraged Astor, who formed the Pacific Fur Company. Astor sent a man named Wilson Price Hunt to establish a base of operations and in 1811, Hunt followed the trail of Lewis and Clark to the Dakotas and then cut over land through Jackson Hole and eventually to the mouth of the Columbia River. They called the place Fort Astor.

The War of 1812 broke out and the Crown sent a warship to seize the fort. The guys in the fort figured out that they were in trouble so, being good businessmen, they sold the town to their British competitors. The North West Company purchased the fort, renamed it Fort George and the British gained control without firing a shot and presumably John Jacob Astor got some money for his trouble.

Did Ogden Have a Neck?

Did Ogden Have a Neck?

Just before the Brits took over the fort, a group of men led by Robert Stuart left Fort Astor for St. Louis. That party in 1812 was the first follow the Oregon Trail, though they did it in reverse. About 10 years later, the Northwest Fur Company merged with the Hudson Bay Company and a hellion with the Company named Peter Skene Ogden was used as a inspector of operations in the far west. He got the position probably to keep him out of the offices because in the past, he had tried to incinerate a campanion for fun, nearly beat a company officer to death and led an entire outpost in a mutiny. Ogden ended up knowing more about the west than anyone except for mountain man Jedediah Smith. Ogden’s explorations made its way to cartographers who made maps that paved the way for settlers to emigrate west over the Oregon Trail. I suppose that Ogden Utah got its name from this rough and nasty man of the west.

Ezra Meeker 1906

Ezra Meeker 1906

Ezra Meeker and Friend 1910

Ezra Meeker and Friend 1910

So, a bunch of people went west following the Oregon Trail. One was Ezra Meeker who took his family along the trail in 1852 and moved into the Washington Territory. What makes Meeker stand out was in an attempt to keep the history of the trail alive and honor the men who blazed it, Ezra Meeker got an ox and wagon and took the trail again, stopping often to give speeches and promote its importance in history. Meeker at the time was 75 years old. It was a tough trip and the ox died, but not Meeker. So enthused with his efforts, he did it again in 1910. In 1915 he traveled the route by automobile. And on this date in 1924, Ezra Meeker once again followed the trail that he first set out on 72 years earlier. This time he was 93 years old and this time he made the 1300 mile journey like a bird. He traveled by airplane. At age 98, he attempted to travel the trail by car again with the support of Henry Ford, but he died on December 3, 1928.

Recognize This View From Kindergarten Cop?

Recognize This View From Kindergarten Cop?

Fort Astor is today known as Astoria, Oregon and was the setting for the movie Kindergarten Cop. Meeker had his last oxen team slaughtered and mounted by a taxidermist and can be found today on display, still hooked to the wagon, at the Washington State Historical Society Museum in Tacoma. A commemorative coin was struck in the 1920’s and 30’s to commemorate Meeker and the trail. In the 1980’s, a computer game company put out “The Oregon Trail” game and had a default feature that listed Ezra Meeker in 5th place on the all-time scorer list with a score of 2052. Why they picked that score is a mystery to me.

I’ll tell you what…in the dictionary under “obsession” should be a picture of Ezra Meeker.

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