President Subverts Constitution? Space Heaters No Good.

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.


11 Responses

  1. Nice history lesson – I personally am happy that Jefferson found a workaround to fund the Lewis & Clark expedition. Setting aside for now the very legitimate issues around Native American rights, it was a profound trip that contributed greatly to the growth of our nation.

    p.s. I found you through Alpha Inventions and am “sorry” to have bumped you from the reading list 🙂


  2. Bumping is what its all about! Thanx for the shout out though. Today, the press screams when they think that the Constitution has been subverted, when most of the time, they are wrong. Then they miss it when it is.

  3. Ok, I’m up from my Sunday nap now. Oh, man. This is a bad time to be without heat. You and Snow White can come crash at our house, Mr. Symon. My 5 & 7 year old kids would love the cats–but would the cats love them is the question!

    I guess you knew that Jay Cardosi’s heater is out also (unless he got it fixed in the last little bit). What are the chances of that?

    Interesting tidbit on Thomas Jefferson and the funding of the Lewis & Clark expedition. Thomas Jefferson was a man of contradictions but I guess many great men were that way. Of course, he wasn’t much on finances anyway; he died very deeply in debt! It was probably his stature as one of the framers of the constitution that kept him from the poor house while he was alive.

  4. Did you happen to read the CJ on Saturday in the editorials? David Hawpe wrote a book review and couldn’t resist a nonsensical final sentence or two. I wonder what qualifies him to give opinions. I think my old neighbor Paul has more relevant opinions.

  5. I didn’t see the review. I don’t get the C-J; they seem to have a real problem distinguishing between news and opinion at that excuse for a newspaper. In fact, the little news that they have is so slanted it barely qualifies as news. I’m sure that this is a factor in their ever-declining readership. If they’d just make an attempt to be something like balanced, it would be nice.

    I’m no David Hawpe fan either. I usually don’t read his stuff at all. I sometimes look at the C-J on-line but I didn’t see it yesterday.

  6. At the end of the review, he had the following final sentence. “The end of George W. Bush’s presidency is a good time to remind ourselves that the evil that men do, especially in the exercise of great power, often lives after them.”

    He needs to read my blog.

    Hey…how about this snow….at least the ground is covered. Better than nothing.

  7. I’m afraid that we’re living in the time foretold in which men call evil good and good is called evil. George Bush certainly made some mistakes (as we all do) but I certainly would not call him evil. On the whole, I’d say he’s a pretty good man with regards to basic Biblical morality. Of course, Biblical morality doesn’t even register with Mr. Hawpe and his ilk or so it would seem.

    With regards to the snow, I’m psyched! We got a good coating on the street and driveway. The grass was pretty much covered at my house (Fern Creek); I’m guessing we got about 1.5 inches but I didn’t measure. I got to shovel my driveway and crunch around in the snow so I’m happy.

    I hope your heat gets fixed soon! Do you have a good HVAC guy? I’ve got a great guy who would take good care of you. If you like, send me an e-mail and I’ll give you his name and number.

  8. I just read Snow White your note and she is in agreement. Your notes tend to be very worthwhile and I like the fact that you read for content. We’ve got a guy coming out here today. Just got off the phone with him. Thanks for your offer though.

  9. Can totally appreciate the no heat situation. We have four portable heaters, and they suck as far as keeping the house warm. We’ve been without heat all winter. Coming up with the cash to get the heat on is beyond our means. We’d like to apply for one of those bailouts without oversight, please?

  10. I understand and the best to you. In the last few months we’ve been without electricity for a week due to Hurricane Ike, without gas for a few days because of a gas leak, no stove because it caught on fire after the microwave blew up and now no heat during the coldest days of the season….oh yes..and a weak without a water heater earlier. Makes you appreciate what you have when you lose it. I am thankful and pray that your situation may improve soon. Remember the last words of Robert Duvall in Apocalpyse Now…Someday this war will be over…and both our situations will pass too.

  11. Now see, if you bring up Robert Duvall in Apocalypse Now, all I can think of is “I love the smell of napalm in the morning” and the sound of Wagner’s “Flight of the Valkyries . . . and then we’re back to “the horror . . . the horror . . . and hate to say this, but we’ve got you beaten . . . due to one paycheck for the past year, extended unemployment in shipping, and just my disability check, we have no gas meter, hence our beautiful gas stove is unusable, cooking on a two burner portable stove, water situation is iffy, depending upon if they turn it off . . . during the summer, we piped in water from the pool, it’s like camping but without the fun . . . I kind of laugh when I cry now because it’s at the point of pure ridiculousness, and just a few days ago, we discovered a hole, real hole in our very old forged steel bottom tub, which means that water has been dripping down into the crawl space . . . . . . . I love the smell of napalm in the morning . . .

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