Thursday, December 30, 2010
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Inspired by a Christmas book I got from my sweetheart on Noah Webster, an American lexicographer, textbook pioneer, English spelling reformer, political writer, editor, and prolific author. He has been called the "Father of American Scholarship and Education" and well known for the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Fisk was born in the hamlet of Pownal, Vermont in the township of Bennington on April Fool's Day. After a brief period in school, he ran away in 1850 and joined Van Amberg's Mammoth Circus & Menagerie. Later, he became a hotel waiter, and finally adopted the business of his father, a peddler. He applied what he learned in the circus to his peddling and grew his father's business. He then became a salesman for Jordan Marsh, a Boston dry goods firm. A failure as a salesman, he was sent to Washington, D.C., in 1861 to sell textiles to the government. By his shrewd dealing in army contracts during the Civil War, and, by some accounts, cotton smuggling across enemy lines (in which he enlisted the help of his father), he accumulated considerable wealth, which he soon lost in speculation.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
One of the grandfathers of American Country music, Carson Robison started out as a trick whistler who could whistle two tunes at one time. He went on to make the landmark recording of "The Wreck of the Old '97" b/w "Prisoner's Song" (1924), widely regarded as country music's first million-seller. There is a great article on him in the September issue of my favorite magazine, the Old Time Herald.
Friday, December 10, 2010
Yes, that charmingly disheveled U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, the Independent Socialist of Vermont is leading a one man filibuster against the odious and Dickensian Obama-GOP tax cut deal. He has been going strong since 10 am eastern time. Watch live footage here or here. Here is his website if you want to give him a donation or ask him a question.
Thursday, December 09, 2010
Inspired by the amazing new(ish) book Ultimate Sacrifice. I have read many books on the JFK assassination, including Six Seconds in Dallas and Jim Mars' Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy. This book is the best and most comprehensive in terms of background involving Cuba and the Mafia, mainly because of the wealth of documents that were only declassified within the last 10 years. It basically posits the theory that three southern mafia bosses infiltrated the Kennedy brothers plot to overthrow the Castro regime in Cuba. Once involved in this plan, these Mafia bosses used their usual hit tactics: moving vehicle, a communist patsy, and CIA/FBI connections to secure a government cover-up-therefore keeping there own nefarious, clandestine plans secret by way of a sort of governmental blackmail/embarrassment. I can't recommend the book enough.
Soundtrack is Son House performing his salute President Kennedy.