Compleat Idler, Education, Writing and diction

Vita Translated

 

© 2014 Earl L. Haehl: Permission is given to use this article in whole or in part as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

 

 

What most people call a resume when they send it to a potential employer is what the experts call a curriculum vita. They think of a resume as a one page summary designed to get an employer’s attention. When I would get one of these to look at and realize it was meaningless for my purposes and wonder what edition of What Color is Your Parachute the sender was reading.

I was watching a four hour interview with John Taylor Gatto and he was discussing the resumes colleges and employers look at. By the time I was out college no one but an institution of higher learning cared about a straight A high school career. If an employer looks at it, it gets balanced out by a C+/ B- college record and the assumption is that you did something other than go to class. (An institution of higher learning will note under-performing.)

So now I can translate my old vita for the benefit of prospective employers. NOTE: I exited the official civilian workforce in 2008 so it might be unpatriotic of me to seek a job, but if something interesting presented itself I might go for it anyway and let someone who is a statistic remain so.

College – Bachelor’s in English and Journalism. Translation: The Army would not take me. Because of a tremor related to cervical stenosis and injury to the cerebellum my hand coordination would not permit drafting so engineering was out. I can write better than most English (and journalism) majors—mathematics teaches logic which is helpful in writing. Also, while there was a general expectation that I would gravitate to law or the clergy, I preferred the journalism option because it allowed photography as well. I finished 22 hours in earth sciences which involved field work.

Law school – This was a socially acceptable way to kill 30 months while looking for a reporting job while my wife was finishing her doctoral coursework. I also would have had to spend the first year in grad school on probation (see C+/B- GPA). I also arranged my time so I could make some money shooting freelance. If I had been offered a job I would have left.

At one point I listed every school program I attended and the dates as well as honors and scholarships. In the first job after college, this is good. But, for the most part, employers do not care where you went if you did not get a degree. Your education should be secondary to work history unless you are applying for a post doc. Also, people who spend a lot of time in different schools get the label (at least in my generation) of “loser.”

Work history – pre government. This was basically odd jobs and temporary work. I did develop some skills and the photo gigs continued part time after I was hired by the state as an investigator.

Work history – investigations and administration. Translation: I could not get a job reporting or teaching photography/journalism. Government pays well and has benefits. Until I promoted to administration, I did a brisk and fairly profitable photo business on the side.

Work history – retail. I did the usual retiree thing. I was hired because I had developed skills over the years related to the businesses I worked in—hardware, photo supply and finishing, and outdoor supply.

To get high level teaching or professional work in the fields of my managerial expertise requires a degree in human resources (a law degree and certificate in labor relations does not count), criminal justice administration or public administration—all bogus graduate pursuits. NOTE: 20 years in mid and upper level management positions do not count. NOTE: I am damn good in relating to customers and product knowledge.

Miscellaneous: This is stuff that does not fit on a normal vita but might be explained in a cover letter or interview.

Sports: Too small for football, to short for basketball, to slow for track or baseball. Outside of school I enjoyed golf and tennis, but was not driven. I climbed cliffs—and slid down messing up my clothes. I hunted with bow and arrow. And I learned riflery in military science. In later years I did competitive shooting with handgun. Fishing improved my abilities at prevarication which helped in writing budget justifications—numbers were accurate, but the justification of new programs was, shall we say, more on the creative side.

NOTE: Colleges and some employers look at team sports to find a team player. Richard Branson of Virgin Air, when looking for leaders, looks at individual sports and risk taking. To work for him I should have taken a boat trip up the Orinoco or gone skydiving—neither of these made my bucket list.

Mechanical/building trades: I am certified by the FCC to build and repair transmitters and receivers in frequencies available in the Amateur Radio Service. As a high school student I learned to field strip and maintain numerous weapons, most of which are no longer in active service—this no longer appears in the high school military science program. I also built a vacuum tube superheterodyne receiver and repaired all my grandmother’s radios. In college I learned to process and print black and white photographs and build a pinhole camera. Working summers for my uncle I did set up a production line1, did drywall, roofing and general construction, and learned to maintain and repair GM engines.

As a home owner I have done plumbing, painting, electrical and cement work. I have also built custom furniture. I personally designed and built photographic laboratories and modified photo equipment to accommodate my needs—I did a portrait lighting set up with $10 used strobes and cheap slave units2. This does not include the lean-tos and sheds thrown together by every kid in my area back in the fifties.

NOTE: When I applied to work at Radio Shack in 2002 they were not interested in my Amateur Radio Service license. I am still a competent bench electrician.

Living in the outdoors skills: I have taught land navigation, woods tools, fire building, cooking, shelter building, edible plant identification, tracking etc. I have done much as a scout and on field work and outdoor photography.

Leadership: Classes in leadership are big in business and government. There are even programs and degrees in “leadership studies” in colleges. I am of the opinion that if eight or nine people go out in a wilderness area with just the essentials and survive they will learn more about leadership and teamwork than if they sit in class doing case studies in groups of four. (I have used case study method in teaching.) I did the week long Wood Badge course—they are no longer doing that format. I learned more there about myself, my abilities and my techniques than in all of the seminars I participated in—including TQM 3.

These are the things I picked up being in the situations I happened to drift into. Your own are unique to you. So use them. Your work experience and education (as well as awards and accomplishments) should be in your vita. But if you want to get on the team to build a new community, it would be good to let the employer or client know if you and your twin were raised by a she-wolf after your parents were killed4. Boil the significant stuff into a cover letter or drop it on the interviewer.

NOTE:  As usual, tags are suggestions for further exploration.

Footnotes:

  1. At age 16. My uncle had a ladder factory. I was on vacation and spending time there. He asked me to set up a line to produce the front part of eight, 10 and 12 foot painting ladders. I analyzed the supply flow, where in needed to run the compressed air and where the rest of the ladder was being built. I set up the line and the next step. I ran the line and was producing 10 units an hour.

  2. It worked at the time. I would go to the camera store’s annual sales where they brought out trade ins, stuff that was discontinued, etc. Maybe I should list my scrounging skills. A slave unit attaches to an electronic flash unit to fire simultaneously with the main flash—this has nothing to do with the Thirteenth Amendment.

  3. Total Quality Management. Developed by Walter Shewhart and modified by W Edwards Deming, the statistical process control system is sometimes referred to as TQM. It worked well for the procurement process in WWII, for Western Electric and for Japanese industry during the American Occupation. American Industry, bound by union contracts, has come around. Government agencies adopted the name but, with the exception of the early space program, has “modified” the concept to the point that it has become a means for reinventing the wheel and adding steps to justify more employees. I was prohibited from teaching the process.

  4. Romulus and Remus founded Rome.

 

 

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Education, Free Society, Trivia, Uncategorized

Presidents’ Day – Things to think about

© 2014 Earl L. Haehl: Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

By the only clearly objective test our greatest president was William Howard Taft. (also Greatest Chief Justice, Greatest Secretary of War, Greatest Solicitor General….)

The only good politician is one who has been dead at least a generation.

The sure way to get a second term is to have a conflict going at the time of the election.A

Hamilton wanted a system of a Presidency for life or good behavior with a much looser standard for impeachment.

There was talk of impeaching George Washington over his pardon of persons involved in the Whiskey Insurrection of 1794. There was also talk of impeaching Jefferson for the Louisiana Purchase.

The election of 1840 was won by name recognition of William Henry Harrison over Martin Van Buren. Harrison was a war hero from the War of 1812 and earlier. Van Buren, father of the political machine was President of the United States.

Harrison gave the longest inaugural address, caught pneumonia and died 31 days later without having time to do substantial damage to the Republic.

Between 1837 and 1861, no President served more than a single term.

Only three Presidents have been elected directly from the Senate. They are Warren Harding, John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama.

Theodore Roosevelt was the first vice-president succeeding to the presidency to be elected in his own right.

Neither of the two world class intellectual Presidents went to high school. Jefferson learned what was necessary to running a Plantation at home and had some work at the College of William and Mary. Theodore Roosevelt had tutors and was published in scientific journals before entering Harvard.

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Citizenship, Education, Free Society, Media, Writing and diction

Piers Morgan Redux

© 2014 Earl L. Haehl: Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

We still hear rants from Piers Morgan on how America ought to be. A comparison seems appropriate, though in a sense it is rather embarrassing to compare him with Alistair Cooke.

 

Alistair Cooke came to the States on Commonwealth fund scholarship to study. Among other things he happened to be hired as a film critic and had a Letter from England program on NBC in the thirties and is noted for his coverage of the Abdication of Edward VIII. Reporting from America after WWII, he developed the Letter from America which lasted 58 years.

 

Cooke was a journalist and scholar. He studied the United States before speaking and he did not shoot his mouth off on subjects he did not understand. While in the States he was employed as a journalist for the Guardian, one of Britain’s more reputable papers and he wrote extensively. He oversaw the research and writing of Alistair Cooke’s America. And he understood what he was writing about. No ranting, just objective reporting.

 

On the other hand, we have Piers Morgan. Piers, a product of state schools and the Harlow College (roughly equivalent to a Juco or Vo-Tech in the US), has a career in tabloid newspapers and celebrity television. Prior to taking over for Larry King, he was fired as editor of The Mirror for publishing dubious photographs. He had been a “presenter” rather than a correspondent for BBC.

 

His role as a “host” is not that of a journalist. Larry King made no pretensions that the show was anything but entertainment. Unlike his predecessor, Morgan lines up guests who disagree with him for a session of hectoring and rants, bypassing rational discourse. He does not attempt to learn or to educate himself on America. His assumption is that celebrity trumps research and education.

 

In fact he is woefully ignorant, not only of American constitutional history but British as well. Our Declaration of Independence cites the 1689 Bill of Rights. Our second amendment guarantees all citizens the same right to keep and bear arms as the 1689 Bill grants Protestants. Unfortunately for our cousins across the pond there is a waiver of the Bill of Rights in time of war—ever notice that the UK has been in a state of war most of the time since. He looks at what are essentially “black swan” events which are not subject to real analysis since there origins appear to be random and comes to a definite solution that does not work—it has not worked in Britain, a far more violent society than the US, and it has not worked anywhere.

 

The British finally, about 1775, ordered the colonists in Massachusetts Bay to surrender their weaponry. On the night of 18 April 1775 they marched a column of 800 or so grenadiers and marines out of Boston to arrest two “traitors” at Lexington and seize munitions at Concord. In the morning they stood facing a small group of armed colonists on the green—while they were facing this group, John Hancock and Sam Adams slipped out of the Rev John Emerson’s residence and headed south unnoticed by the Redcoats. Shots were fired and the colonists retreated. At Concord they found the cache of munitions empty and a larger force (growing by the minute). As the British forces (I should say English because the term UK is a sop that does not recognize where the power is) started to retreat the colonists kept firing and picking up more Enfield muskets along the way. There was a war.

 

When, in the ratification process, the anti-federalist faction demanded a Bill of Rights that included the right of the people to keep and bear arms. The Assize of 1181 and the 1689 Bill of Rights were precedent to the US Bill of Rights. The fact that the UK Parliament has gutted Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights as the people have adopted a stance of European serfdom, is not something one gets in a technical trade school.

 

Piers asks about the AR-15. In the 19th Century case of Dred Scott v. Sanford, the court remarked that if blacks were given citizenship, they would have the right to “musket and cannon,” the military weaponry of the day. This is, of course, what lawyers refer to as dicta which has less legal standing than the arguments in the decision. Dicta is most of what we get out of Supreme Court cases since judges want to leave employment opportunities for attorneys and judges. Prior to Heller, most second amendment cases (with the exception of Cruikshank which was overturned by Congress) have more dicta than decision. US v Miller, for instance, was decided as an excise case with dicta that there was no regulatory power and that the weapon in question was of no military utility.

 

A “host” with a liberal arts background would probably realize that there are arguments from various perspectives on the question. And the purpose of the interview should be to broaden the discussion, not browbeat the interviewee with the pretense that authority comes from a BBC accent. And yet there may be hope—in an interview with Ann Coulter, Piers did admit that his visceral reaction to pro-second amendment guests may have been counter to his cause.

 

We shall see.

 

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Education, Writing and diction

Is loboviejo iconic or legendary

© 2014 Earl L. Haehl: Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

Some questions on usage spring to mind as one reads the daily newspaper. Not long ago I read the lead, “The career of iconic beat writer William Burroughs…”

This violated two important style conventions of time past. The major one was elimination of the middle initial. This has become common as has the omission of middle names that identify individuals who went by those names. Per example: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, William Cullen Bryant. I, myself, use a middle initial in financial matters to distinguish me from a second cousin—of course to the government I am xxx-xx-xxxx. But Burroughs wrote as William S. Burroughs. I am just damn picky.

Okay. Now to “iconic,” one of two adjectives that hit my button. If you have ever seen Eastern Orthodox art, you have a good idea what an icon is. There are specific conventions in icons, specific hand positions and colors of clothing. You will generally find no statues in Orthodox churches—I have seen an occasional crucifix, but the statues of Santos we get out and parade at fiesta no. Things are changing and it’s been 10 years since my flirtation with the east, so I used the term generally. Icons are two-dimensional. They are written, not drawn. Burroughs would hardly be a subject for an icon in any church I have set foot in. And as I recall seeing him on occasions, he was three-dimensional.

In the advertising section as well as the retail sector, the word “legendary” is used to describe proprietary branded clothing. I had always thought of the gods of the north as legendary, Odin of the many aliases, Frigg the consort of Odin, Freyja of the Vanir (goddess of beauty and gore), Thor of the barrel chest and stocky build (take that, Marvel Comics). Or the heroic west, Hickock, Earp, James, all more legend than reality. Calling Chinese clothing which is sold by two or three retail/catalog outfits—same item, different proprietary names is what we called “puffery” back when I was in the ad biz. There are legendary brands of clothing such as Brooks Brothers, Levis, Stetson; those brands date from the nineteenth century and stood on their own as brands the country grew up with.

By overuse the term legendary has become meaningless. By misuse the term iconic has lost all meaning.

Is loboviejo iconic or legendary?  Hell no!

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Compleat Idler, Education

Compleat idler — Stubby

(c) 2012 Earl L. Haehl Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

NOTE: A couple months back we did animal stories at the storytellers group. On the way home, Anne told me I should do a story about Stubby, one of the bright spots of my childhood. She identifies as a storyteller and also believes in telling stories as therapy. I started to write this, and it is short because I know how it ends. There may be a time when I can tell it without tears, but until then no public performance.

I was five when Mom got married and we moved to San Jose. I could not take Stubby with me and she stayed with my grandparents.

I did not know life without Stubby. She was four months old and I was nine months old when she was brought home and given a bed underneath my crib. She was a present from the Gegleins—I think they were cousins of my grandfather on his mother’s side. Her mother was Grampa Geglein’s bulldog bitch and there were numerous suspects, mostly terriers on the surrounding farms. With her lineage and looks she might be shunned today as a pitbull but folks called her a nanny dog.  She was called Stubby because there was just a stub where her tail should have been. At any rate, everyone thought a dog like that would keep me out of trouble.

I felt alone in a strange place—in a city no less—without my dog, but it was California and pets were no-nos when you rented.

We were in California for two years before moving back. And this dog and I were inseparable for the most part. We could easily have taken her when we went to Wyoming and lived in a mining camp, but the allergy doctor said no and even recommended I not live in the same house with the dog. So for the two years between Wyoming and Nebraska we lived in a cabin out back and I hiked up to the main house in the morning to meet Stubby before we went on adventures.

Talk about patience. That dog wore a circus costume and we hitched her to the Radio Flyer wagon and she would pull it for a good half hour before lying down. She would lie down a lot—when I was real young she would sleep in the yard under the maple when I was playing with my trucks or my fort. When I was in college the neighbor explained that any time anyone came in the yard, there would be a bulldog between them and me.

In the summer of ’54, just after Little Britches, I built a chute and we ran her through it to where I was waiting with a lasso. I roped and threw her which was quite a chore as she outweighed me by 15 pounds—there were no girls around to be impressed but I was 10. I got the three legs tied. I loosed it up and she disappeared. She also disappeared every time she saw me getting my ropes out—even though I just did it to practice spinning ropes like Monty Montana.

But 1954 meant she was ten years old and as those things went she was slowing down. I was not aware that her eyesight and hearing were beginning to go. She was missing the Checkers that I tossed her and eating from her bowl. She stopped following me to school and generally slept in my grandmother’s dining room. We still went after rabbits along the irrigation ditch, but she did not move as fast. When I went up to the ranch in 1955, I knew I would see her at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The first year in Nebraska I was unhappy. And when given the opportunity to write a story, I wrote an adventure tracking a badger with Stubby and Red Ryder. We actually had followed weasel tracks in the dry irrigation ditch and as I look back on it, Red fired a .177 copper plated BB and would have been of little use had we encountered a real badger. Ten year olds are not realists a and we were an underarmed kid with a mostly blind dog. But I felt good while I was writing.

And I spent part of the summer of 1956 with my grandparents. Stubby was quieter. We still walked and went places, but more slowly. No rabbits. We sat for long hours on the sofa with her head in my lap. When we got in the car to head home I hugged her and told her I would see her at Thanksgiving. Mom got the letter the last week in October—cancer. I went in the bedroom, chased my brother out, locked the door and cried for twenty minutes. And I wrote no more adventures.

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Compleat Idler, Education, photo art

Compleat Idler – the f/ stops here part I

(c) 2012 Earl L. Haehl Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

Back in the sixties, photography took over my life. I remarked when I was selling photo gear and finishing on what digital photography would have done for my social life—no more hanging out in the lab until three in the morning, smelling like chemicals or having stains on my clothing that bleach would not touch. I could have gone over to a friend’s pad and had beer while I loaded images onto a laptop and sent them anywhere in the world. Today the job would be done before the teams got back to their locker rooms.

But back then it was use a mechanical camera preset for the average light, push the Tri-X to 1600 or greater speed. Larry Dressler has a method for going to equivalent iso of 12800 at http://www.digitaltruth.com/articles/pushing-tri-x.php This is wilder than anything I did or even had the patience for. I would use developers called Acufine or Diafine which supposedly used different areas of the emulsion to do the magic—which worked most, well better than 50 percent, of the time. I used a lot of high contrast paper in those days.

While I was learning a lot about photochemistry and emulsions I was also setting my body up for problems later on—by the fall of 1975, the professor in a graduate course barred me from the lab for exposure in excess of that recommended. He said I could keep using my home lab for black and white as long as I improved my ventilation. There is nothing unique about this experience. Several people, who, like myself, did their own black and white survived for years. So why worry.

The mechanical cameras were upgraded over the years and the apex was the Nikon F2 or Canon F1 in the early seventies. So these were discussions over beer and pool—as far as I was concerned these were discussions because my budget and business plan did not have room for a new camera and I picked up used Nikon Fs for $100 or less. By the time I got an F2, it had been replaced by the electronic F3—the apex of electronic non-autofocus SLRs—an the F4, a poorly performing autofocus SLR that was rushed into production after another company seized the initiative. So the discussions have continued over the years.

My friend Johnny ran a photofinishing and used camera store in a rough neighborhood. As the neighborhood got rougher I spent time there after I got off work so there would be two of us when we closed and two of us when we caravaned to the bank. The local thugs knew the guy in the truck had a Mossberg 500 and steered clear. We argued technology for years as I would occasionally look up some of the non-proprietary lenses. And it is always a crapshoot when you buy off brand optics—some are better than others.

A hint for film photographers: The cheapest of the major non-proprietary lenses resolves more lines than Kodachrome 25 which was the philosopher’s stone of transparency film. If you want to see an artistic approximation of the K25 and K64, visit an art museum and find a work by William-Adolphe Bougereau (1825-1905). The temperature and delicacy of the light—the colors and fineness of detail—seem to have inspired the film. In modern film, Fuji Provia 100 comes close in resolution. To go from transparency to the printed page resolution is lost in each stage. So the finest optical glass and a midrange optical glass will produce similar final results.

Johnny was a traditionalist and had been a portrait and glamour photographer. He did catalogs and some photofinishing. I had done some advertising and public relations as well as newspaper and magazine work. By the time I was hanging out at the shop I was doing landscapes and some raptors. I saw the lighter weight of composite lenses as a positive. So we disagreed. When I was laid off from my full-time sales gig, I spent a C-note and got a 2.3mp, autofocus point and shoot. He pooh-poohed it by saying he would shoot negatives and have them give him jpegs on a CD.

I have not worked in the lab since 1993 or thereabouts. Hint: If you have negatives, do not store them in a filebox on the basement floor. Thirty years of black and white work went down the tubes in about 20 minutes during the flood. I do not remember whether I sat down and cried then but I do remember the pit in my stomach. Having culled my transparencies and and stored them high, I still have that record and plan to get a scanner and a pile of CDs to back up my Seagate. Otherwise, they will not survive.

Perspective time again. With a 4×5 view and 6x6TLR I have carefully set up pictures in black and white using the finest grain film and zone exposure. I have done bare domes, broad fields and stands of aspen, but I am not one of the greats. When I was at the University of Denver, I studied at the Denver Public Library which was on my bus route. The table I liked was beneath a painting titled Estes Park by Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902). I bought a large poster in the museum shop at Rocky Mountain National Park and paid for a serious frame. There is no way that painting could be replicated in a single photograph because of the difference in light. I do not have the time to do it. And when one vacations with family, one does not have the time to set up and wait for light.

A few months before Johnny died, I sprung for a Nikon D60. A new SLR! He told me that he could get as good from his F and get CDs. And I have discovered much here about the various options now available such as lenses that compensate for camera shake, and the wide range of options. They finally discontinued Kodachrome 64. It was a matter of time and the fact that National Geographic now uses digital images—I see no degradation in the quality, but I am functionally blind in one eye.

Do I see another SLR in my future? Sure. If I win the lottery and have the physical ability to travel in the west, a pair of Nikon D4s will do nicely.

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Citizenship, Education, Free Society

Debate – Lincoln’s “investments”

(c) 2012 Earl L. Haehl Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

The debate coach watched the Debate while I, knowing that it would upset me—as in the past—refrained. I did catch a brief answer by the President speaking about government involvement in which he praised Lincoln for establishing the National Academy of Science, subsidizing the transcontinental railroad and establishing Land Grant Colleges.

OBAMA: But as Abraham Lincoln understood, there are also some things we do better together. So, in the middle of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln said, let’s help to finance the Transcontinental Railroad, let’s start the National Academy of Sciences, let’s start land grant colleges, because we want to give these gateways of opportunity for all Americans, because if all Americans are getting opportunity, we’re all going to be better off.
The Academy (National Academy of Sciences) was chartered by Congress in 1863. Lincoln signed the charter on March 3 and the Academy was organized on April 22 of that year. (Note here that Earth Day was proclaimed on April 22, 1970.) The NAS in a private organization that holds a charter—much like the Boy Scouts—but does not receive federal funds.

The transcontinental railroad had no greater lobbyist than Abraham Lincoln who had drawn a line on a map with Grenville Dodge in 1858 to mark the route. (The War Department had surveyed four possible routes and recommended one from New Orleans to Los Angeles. The State Department had made the Gadsden Purchase in 1853 to facilitate this route which would have been built in far less time. Lincoln and Dodge drew a line on a map.) Lincoln had also purchased land in Council Bluffs, Iowa, as an investment. The Pacific Railroad Acts of 1862 and 1864 established a funding mechanism of 30 year bonds and extensive land grants.

They federal government “owned” millions of acres from the Louisiana Purchase aka “Bonaparte’s Big Flip.” These lands were, in 1862, surplus and therefore expendable. The companies sold much of the land to acquire capital. The railroads were required to reimburse the government for the bonds and there was some default. The bonds and land grants paid about two-thirds of the costs and it was still necessary to raise private investment. (Note: Brigham Young was a serious investor of Union Pacific.)

Lincoln did have a setback in that his Illinois-Central railroad was not chosen, but rather Congress created the Union Pacific and Central Pacific.

One of the ideas that gave rise to the use of land grants was the Morrill Act. The Illinois Legislature had passed a resolution trying to get federal assistance for states to promote agricultural and mechanical education. Sen Lyman Trumbull recruited Rep Justin Smith Morrill to introduce the act which was vetoed by James Buchanan. In 1861 the act was re-introduced with the addition of training in military tactics. Added to the fact that this act and the Homestead Act were necessary to passage of the Transcontinental Railroad Act of 1862, Lincoln signed the Morrill Act.

The funding mechanism is that the States would sell the lands and use the funds to finance the schools. Again, like the National Academy of Sciences, no expenditure was made of federal funds.

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Citizenship, Education, Free Society

Credit where due

(c) 2012 Earl L. Haehl Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

James Madison, Jr, took copious notes at the federal convention and fleshed them out between sessions. That he was one of the instigators of the convention is not disputed. That he participated in the ratification process and eventually put the Bill of Rights (as well as the Twenty-seventh Amendment) in their current form are matters of record.

But he is not the Father of the Constitution or the Father of the Bill of Rights. Most of the language in the Constitution proper comes from the literary abilities of Gouvernor Morris of Pennsylvania and the Bill of Rights is a (poor) adaptation of the Virginia Declaration of Rights produced by Col George Mason.

Col Mason believed a bill of rights needed to be the first article of any Constitution—he had done it that way in Virginia. Although present, he declined to sign the document for lack of the Bill of Rights and worked to prevent ratification in Virginia. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts did the same. Edmund Randolph did not like the document and declined to sign.

The Bill of Rights was the result of the anti-federalist movement. Madison was only a drafter, not being particularly invested in the project—he had argued for ratification without a bill of rights. His version of the Second Amendment lacks the admonitions against standing armies found in the Virginia Declaration.

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Compleat Idler, Education

Scottish-Americans meet reality – Jacobites

(c) 2012 Earl L. Haehl Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

NOTE:  This is a rant, not a detailed piece of scholarly history.  Much is relayed through different family traditions and I am not a Jacobite.

The season of Scottish-American pride draws to a close. Soon it will be October with the weather getting cooler and snowfall upon us making outdoor festivals less than pleasant—I remember freezing my buns at McPherson in late September after ditching my windbreaker in Estes two weeks earlier. My broken hip has, for the last few seasons, limited my ability to get to these gatherings and tweak the pride—though a good argument is probably the most Scots of that goes on.

My definition of modern Scots is as follows: A people of varied Celto-Norse heritage living north of England who, without English interference, would have annihilated each other centuries ago. The languages spoken are English, Scots (an English dialect originally called Inglis), Cymru, Gaelic (also called Erse or Irish), Norwegian and Glaswe (the dialect of Glasgow which does not appear mutually intelligible with any known language). Cymru, Gaelic and possibly Glaswe are Celtic (Seltic) languages. English, Scots and Norwegian derive from Old Norse.

I will start with the Jacobites because they are the easiest to describe, being a group of English and Scots aristocrats and bishops who preferred the profligacy of James II (VII of Scotland) to the hard money austerity of William of Orange (both of whom were descendants of Henry VII). We are here talking about the throne of England, the throne of Scotland not having much in the way of power or finances. No, kiddies, Bonnie Prince Charlie had no interest whatsoever in an independent Scotland.

Do not worry. Over the next few weeks I can dispatch Duncan the Wicked, his son Malcolm the Fat Head, Malcolm’s English second wife Margaret, Robert the Brus, the Stuarts and anyone else I can skewer.

Charles I had been removed as King by Parliament. The power of Parliament to choose the monarch goes back to the days of Henry VIII and his concern about the Spanish Princess Mary inheriting from him and restoring the bishops to outside control. He had hopes that Edward VI would grow into a powerful monarch destined for greatness, but gave Parliament authority to name Edward’s successor. Instead of naming Henry’s nephew James V of Scotland, They named Henry’s hapless niece Jane Grey, setting her up to last about as long as Macbeth’s successor Lulach. What happened in terms of greatness of Henry’s successors was that the throne eventually devolved on his younger daughter Elizabeth. And while Elizabeth of England eliminated her whiny, manipulative cousin Mary Stuart, when she died the throne went to Mary’s son James VI of Scotland. This was not because his mother was the rightful monarch but because his great-great grandfather was Henry VII—the Stuarts were in the Royal line because they were Tudors.

In 1688, a group of seven nobles persuaded William of Orange, James II’s nephew/son-in-law and his wife Mary to come to England to oust James. Mary believed her new half-brother to be a switch for a stillborn and feared the coming Catholicism. William arrived with his troops, the military switched sides and James, on his second attempt, was able to take a permanent vacation in France. Parliament declared the Throne vacant, disqualified Prince James Edward by disqualifying any Catholic, and made William King. Note: I determining “rightful” monarchs I follow the practical solution of recognizing the prevailing monarch in the fight.

The first Jacobite uprising was led by John Graham of Claverhouse (AKA Bonnie Dundee—see Sir Walter Scott’s notes in Old Mortality). Claverhouse slaughtered a bunch of Presbyterians at Killiecrankie—he enjoyed slaughtering Presbyterians. However, Claverhouse was killed and the movement sputtered.

Jacobites derive that name from Jacobus (Iacobus) Rex—the Latin for King James. The fact is that Parliament prohibited the issue of James II by his second wife from inheriting which left his two daughters, Mary and Anne, and his nephew William of Orange. Following the deaths of William and Mary, Queen Anne assumed the throne. Following the death of Queen Anne’s last son, Parliament passed the 1701 Act of Settlement which provided the English crown, in default of issue from either William or Anne, was settled upon “the most excellent princess Sophia, electress and duchess-dowager of Hanover” and “the heirs of her body, being Protestant.” As it happened, when Queen Anne died without issue in 1714, the crown went to Georg Ludwig, great grandson of James I. So we have the line from the Hanovers to the Stuarts to the Tudors.

Now the throne of England has a history of being transferred by military power. The most famous was in 1066. When Edward the Confessor died there were four claimants. The “rightful monarch,” grandson of Edmund Ironside stayed in Hungary and expected to be called. Harald Hardradi of Denmark invaded from the North, picking up support from Caithness and Orkney. In a fluke he was killed by the troops of Harold Godwinson who then marched his troops south to Hastings where he ran across William of Normandy. William’s Normans had lived in Normandy since his ancestor Ganger Hrolf had made a deal with Charles the Simple for land in exchange for stopping the raiders from the North from viking in Paris. The were basically Norsemen who spoke abominable French. So when George ascended the throne James Francis Edward Stuart, having been recognized as King by Louis XIV in 1702 decided to restore his rights.

The problem is that when you attempt a military solution against a recognized monarch you need a competent army, competent commanders and a coherent plan. Remember that when the Brus went up against Edward II at Bannockburn, he had 300 Norman cavalry stashed in surprise mode and he had more or less popular support. Scotland was not universally Jacobite. The Duke of Argyll had no love for the profligate James II and VII. The Protestant branch of the family had stabilized the economic situation. A note: The Stuarts, like the Brus, were Normans—they tended to crop up in a lot of places as the civilizers of Europe.

Again in 1745-46, there was another major uprising led James Francis Edward’s generally besotted son Charles Edward William Stuart who was half-Polish and raised in Italy. The general reception he got in the west of Scotland was, “Go home.” According to Alex Beaton he replied, “I am-a home.” Alex went for the New York showbiz laugh. Bonnie Prince Charlie had never led an army in combat but that was not a problem because Scots are “natural fighters.” (Note how Robert Brus had heavy French Cavalry and the Scots did not fare that well against the English overall.)

So after getting within striking distance of London, Charlie retreated to Inverness. George called on his own surrogate, his son William, Duke of Cumberland, who had been in military combat for years and was battle hardened. With experienced English and Scots troops he marched north to the climax at Culloden. There was no secret Templar army waiting, only Bonnie Prince Charlie and his Jacobites. The aftermath of the battle—the slaughter of survivors—was carried out by Scots troops, the English not really having much taste for slaughter.

We all know the Skye Boat, the escape in drag courtesy of Flora McDonald in exchange for the Dram Buie recipe, and the later life which would indicate he was not as much into discipline as his Hanoverian cousins. But this little tidbit was in the Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/9211247/DNA-reveals-the-truth-about-Bonnie-Prince-Charlie.html

Evidently there is a gene for profligacy in Cornwall as well.  (Addendum: Well he should have Welsh DNA.  He was a direct descendent of Owen Tudor.)

While the rout a Culloden ended the military threat to the Hanoverian line, there were some sphincters tightened in 1784 when Scottish Episcopal Bishops consecrated Samuel Seabury as Bishop for the Church of North America. Fearing the rise of a Jacobite Church the English Bishops swiftly obtained authorization to consecrate Bishops for the American Church without the oath to support the King.

There are still some “Stuart” claimants, but it is more likely that the monarchy will simply disappear altogether. As I have said, no one recognizes a loser—except maybe other losers.

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Complete idler — reading suggestion

(c) 2012 Earl L. Haehl Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

10.12! That is the October 2012 Popular Mechanics. The question as I wander by the magazine rack is “Should I buy this or hope someone else does?” And I looked at the cover, and it featured stealth aircraft which will turn off most of my friends. The technology of stealth fascinates me because it represents a game of camouflage—sort of like the scout patrol that wore woodland camo pants and called themselves the Camo Gators: “We’re the Gators! You can’t see us.”

But I look at the contents. Jay Leno’s Garage. Okay, it is coming home. I will never afford the car collection he has—the Powerball never gets that big. But I have been fascinated by cars ever since we did the work on my grandparents’ LaSalle. That an engine works that way was a mystery to a five year old that bordered on magic. And since I realized I could read about third grade, what was in the magazines around the house was fair game.

And when I had mumps or other long illness, I would get a stack which included Field and Stream, Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, and sometimes Popular Photography. I was corrupted from a young age. I also snuck a look at my uncle’s True.

So check out the October issue. Especially with homeschoolers check out the squishy circuits and LED projects. On Lew Rockwell, Karen de Coster is fighting for incandescent bulbs as opposed to CFLs. The bad news is that incandescents are going by government decree (and the Administration also killed the Crown Vic). The good news is that in five to ten years CFLs, which have mercury as well as a tendency to break in my hand, will be history. LEDs are cleaner and require much less power.

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