Andrew Jackson

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This biography of Andrew Jackson is well written and fun to read.  The following quotes sum up what the book had to say about Andrew Jackson.

  • Jackson believed in the common man, not the elite.  His presidency supported democracy as he believed it was meant to be practiced, not as the province of the rich and powerful, but as the birthright of ordinary people.
  • He used his veto power without qualm, vetoing more bills than had all the previous presidents combined.  He opposed legislation which threatened slavery, supported the availability of cheap public lands, and refused to recognize the judgement of the Supreme Court regarding the rights of Native American tribes.

Historic Travelers Rest Museum – Nashville, Tennessee

Saturday, we went to Nashville, Tennessee.  While we were there we visited the Travelers Rest Museum.

The Overton family home was named Travelers Rest  and was owned by Judge John Overton.  The plantation played a vital role during the Battle of Nashville, since battles were fought on the grounds.

After the war, the Overtones provided services for disabled Confederate veterans and founded the Confederate Soldiers’ Home.

The Overtone house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is now a museum.

I know it sounds nerdy, but my favorite part of the museum was the old school house.

The American Civil War

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The most interesting chapter in this book was about the role of woman in the Civil War.

Women in the North had a history of participating in social and political activities.  They were also more likely to be educated and allowed freedoms women in the South were denied.

In the South, women were subservient to men.  They were seen as beings that needed to be controlled.  They were less educated and had no experience with social or political activism.

During the war, Northern women worked in hospitals and with their help soldiers were less likely to die from infections.  They also prepared food and delivered it to the soldiers.  The aid given by women in the North played a role in the Armies ability to fight and win the war.

 

Censorship Doesn’t Equal Freedom

It bothers me when people demand their right to free speech, while at the same time trying to censor contradictory opinions.  I see this coming from both sides of the fence.

However, you can’t have freedom of speech and censorship.  They are contradictory terms.  Allowing this behavior will erode our freedoms and in the end we all lose.

What are your thoughts on this matter?

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Constitution Survey

I conducted a survey and asked 100 people if they have ever read the entire US Constitution.  Honestly, I was surprised by the results.  I expected a lot more negative responses.

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The main purpose of the survey was to get people thinking about the Constitution and hopefully inspire them to read it.  How can we ensure our rights and freedoms remain, if we don’t know what we are entitled to as American citizens?

 

Living With the Enemy

I spent my childhood (from 1974-1978 and 1980-1987) in Germany, because my father was in the Army.  This was during the cold war and Russia was our sworn enemy.  We were in Germany protecting the world from communism and the evil Russians.

In 1997, I ended up moving to Russia.  Things had changed a lot since my childhood.  The wall had collapsed and Russia was no longer a communist country.

It felt strange to be in Russia, to be in a country I was taught to hate, to mingle with people I viewed as enemies.

While I was in Russia, I made friends and I learned they were a lot like me.  They too had been taught to fear and hate, just as I had been.  They too were curious about life on the other side of the wall.  They had many of the same desires and hopes for the future as I did.  We weren’t that different at the core of our being, and I was able to make friends with those I used to view as enemies.

 

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What happened to the Neanderthals?

It was originally believed the Neanderthals were killed by humans that migrated out of Africa.  However, recent evidence from genetic studies prove humans and Neanderthals were interbreeding.

Researchers at National Geographic discovered, “the Neanderthal linage disappeared, because it was absorbed into the much larger human population.”  They found Neanderthal DNA in humans, especially in those with a strong European heritage.

Basically, the Neanderthals intermingled with humans until they were breed out of existence.

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Source:  Genographic Project:  nationalgeogrpahic.com