Friday, December 15, 2017

Washington's Crossing

By; David Hackett Fischer This book was a gift from my daughter Amy who knows of my extreme interest in history. This is an excellent book covering 1776, the first year of the War of Independence. It starts with our crushing defeat in New York and ends with the tide turning against the British. By then it was beginning to be understood that England could not conquer colonies that were about three million in population with the men owning accurate long rifles and willing to fight. In a bitter cold December, Washington was able to garner enough able bodied men to cross the ice filled Delaware river in the night and stage a surprise raid on the Hessian soldiers in Trenton, New Jersey, defeat them in an overwhelming victory. Washington returned to his base camp and decided to attack again. He returned to Trenton and was attacked by a superior force from Lexington. He won the first day’s battle and slipped away during the night avoiding the British troops and attacked a smaller force at Lexington which was defeated. He then returned to his base to recoup his Army. For the rest of the winter, partisans attacked small patrols sent out to find fodder for their horses severely weakening the British forces. An important aspect of this war was the brutal treatment of American prisoners compared to the positive treatment by our Army. Washington, John Adams and the Continental Congress determined to establish an American tradition completely different from Europe’s. At the end of the war over three thousand Hessians stayed in America rather than returning home. I was feeling cold as I read of the nearly shoeless soldiers, poorly clad in the bitter cold. Their courage and devotion was a testament to their love of country and of General Washington, a man they respected and followed thru hard times. I hope you will be interested in reading. You won’t be disappointed and it might rekindle love of country which appears to be weakening, in my opinion. Jack B. Walters December 15, 2017

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Clinton Cash

By; Peter Schweitzer (The untold story of how and why foreign governments and businesses helped make Bill and Hillary rich) This is a small book, only 184 pages. It is a compilation of events that occurred at the same time very generous contributions were given to the Clinton Foundation. I am taking a lazy approach to reviewing the content. There are many examples given, enough to convince me that this should have been investigated for fraud and conspiracy but then those of you who know me would not expect me to think otherwise. It is available at the Tucson public Library should you care to read for yourself. Jack B. Walters December 7, 2017

Jerusalem-Israel's Capitol

The United States in 1947 was the first country to recognize Israel as a country. We can thank President Truman for making this bold decision. For the intervening 70 years most of the nations still question their right to a homeland. The United Nations on a nauseating frequency writes condemnations of Israel for any and all reasons they can find to do so. Any reasonable person regardless of their religious beliefs should have at least a little sympathy for the few Jewish people existing today. There are six and one half million Jews living in Israel today. That nearly equals the six million who were systematically murdered by the Nazi regime in WWII. The total worldwide population in 2016 was estimated at only 14,410,000. Yesterday President Trump made a bold decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Capitol of Israel. He was immediately condemned by not only Muslim majority countries but also our so-called Allies in Europe as well as Russia and China. If this wasn’t so tragic it would be humorous. Every other country on Earth has the right to choose the location of their Capitol. The reason most often given is that Jerusalem belongs to the Palestinians. That is not true, nor has it ever been true. Three thousand years ago it was the Capitol of the Hebrews. After being expelled by Babylonia, they were finally allowed to return. There was a time when it was part of Jordan and later a British Mandate but always the Jews considered Jerusalem as their Capitol. In my opinion there are two reasons why the nations refuse to recognize this fact. I- They have not ever accepted that Israel is a nation. They consider them as conquerors of Palestinian lands and therefore illegitimate. 2- They fear the response of Muslims around the world and the chaos that might result. We are holding our breath over this. My thoughts are that if they do they will be showing their true nature as religious intolerant people who hate the Jewish people going all the way back to when they refused to convert as Mohammad demanded and were slaughtered as a result. I have done everything I can to read and learn about Islam. I have just finished two semesters of OLLI classes on this subject. The more I learn the more I am convinced that it is time to put these ancient beliefs and conflicts aside and start working together to create a just and equitable society for all people while allowing everyone to worship as he or she desires. Jack B. Walters December 7, 2017

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans

By; Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger (The Battle That Shaped America’s Destiny) I have read a number of books about Andrew Jackson out of respect for this great man and the many contributions he made for our country. This one concentrates on the events leading up to the New Orleans battle and the battle itself. I am writing this at a time in our history when great men like Jackson are being reviled rather than praised for the fact that there were slaves in those times and the Indians were forced to leave their native lands as more and more immigrants from Europe came to America and moved steadily westward until finally we encompassed all of the continent from ocean to ocean. Just in today’s Star was an editorial about Roy Moore. The writer included a sentence about Jackson. He referred to him as “the slave holder known as Indian Killer who was responsible for the forced removal of Native Americans from Southwestern states to what is now Oklahoma.” There is an active effort to remove his likeness from the $20 bill. Step by step this current generation is reviling all of the great men of our country including Washington and Jefferson. I find that tragic. Now I will write my report of the book. After a brief review of his life there is a massacre of 300 men, women and children at Fort Mills by the Red Stick Creeks led by William Weatherford , the son of a Native American mother and a Scot trader. This was in 1803. Jackson was recovering from a gunshot to his chest from a duel. Regardless he rose from his bed to lead the militia to avenge this tragedy and to assure it wouldn’t occur again. After defeating the Indians he discovered an orphan Indian boy and brought him home to Hermitage and raised him as a son. His national fame increased for his success. When war with England was commenced in 1812 he was given the responsibility to Keep New Orleans out of the possession of England. This was very important as the British negotiators attempted to add a proviso that at the signing of a peace treaty that whoever held land would keep it. This would have cut America off from expansion west of the Mississippi River. The British fleet after burning Washington headed for New Orleans. This was an overwhelming force of ships and soldiers. Jackson’s ability as a bold leader prevented them from succeeding. After the battle and as the ships were returning to England they discovered that the battle occurred after the treaty of Ghent was signed. There were about 2,000 British soldiers dead and 12 Americans. It was an overwhelming victory over the best trained infantry in the world vs a collection of militia including blacks, pirates and men from different States. There was even a language problem to overcome. Shortly after the British retired it was learned the treaty had been signed. The British returned to England. As a final comment, when he ran for President in 1824 the House selected John Quincy Adams. In 1828 he became President. This was the first election when all male Americans could vote. Prior to this property holdings was a requirement. This is an easy book to read. I highly recommend you do so. I found this at the Public Library. Jack B. Walters December 5, 2017

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Kennedy Half Century by; Larry J. Sabato

The Presidency, assassination, and Lasting Legacy of John F. Kennedy This book was published in 2013. I mentioned I was reading it to my son Andy. He asked what 50 years meant. I couldn’t answer then but now I can. It refers to the amazing legacy that continues today and how Kennedy is revered by so many Americans of all political parties. Every President who followed Kennedy quoted Kennedy or referred to him as they attempted to govern. I remember the debates with Nixon. I was solidly in favor of Nixon and was distressed to see him defeated. There is no question in my mind that the debates were what enabled Kennedy to squeak out his victory. I was devastated until I heard his inaugural address. Not since Lincoln and FDR had I heard such encouraging words spoken. His call for all to “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country” was stirring. The entire population came together. We were energized and looked positively toward the future. The author takes us thru his brief tenure as President with emphasis on his handling of the October crisis with the Soviet Union when they brought missiles to Cuba. He began the process of improving the lives of our black citizens which at that time was a stain on our country, particularly in the South but also the entire nation. Upon his untimely death L.B.J. was able to pass historic legislation to eliminate the Jim Crow voting process that denied blacks the right to vote The author spends a considerable amount of ink in describing the assassination of Kennedy. Even today most people like me who were alive do not accept Oswald as the lone assassin. This month was the time 50 years later that all records were to be released. At the intelligent people’s urging even Trump did not release all records. There is no question in my mind that the CIA and FBI don’t want these released. I am not inferring they were responsible for his death but they have dirt under their fingernails that they don’t want us to see. Don’t you find it reprehensible that citizens are denied access to the truth? There were numerous persons who were nearby when it occurred. Some of them were never questioned by the Warren Commission. There were many unexplained happenings that were not explored. It appeared that Johnson and the Commission wanted to put this to rest by naming Oswald as the only shooter. This author missed one important point. The bullet that went into his neck was a normal bullet but the one that hit his brain shattered his head. Fragments were found in the brain matter. Only a dumdum bullet would have done that. Shells remaining at the book depository building were normal. Where did this one bullet come from? No answer was given. I will go to my grave not believing the Warren Report. As far as Vietnam is concerned there is no clear proof one way or the other that Kennedy would have backed off or accelerated as LBJ did. My humble opinion is that he would not have made it into the monumental mess that it became. The most important thing to take from reading this book is how tragic it has been to Americans. Kennedy was bringing us all together with hope for the future. With his death that was lost. No other President to follow could restore that feeling. I would grant that Reagan was the closest but even he could not duplicate that feeling of contentment that was lost. Look at how tragic our fractured country is today. Had we been able to follow Kennedy’s leadership things today would be vastly different. I need to add that the author didn’t spare Kennedy from his womanizing tendencies. It is abundantly clear there were no harassment incidents. The pleasure was mutual. I don’t say this to be flippant but there is a great difference to the charges we read about on a daily basis anymore. The Press in those days did not report on these transgressions as they do today. At any rate the vast majority of Americans were able to discount this in their new found feeling that all could be well. Upon his death Jackie coined the phrase “Camelot”. We all agreed this was a mystical time that was lost forever, never to return. This is an excellent book to read if you like history. I found this at the Tucson Public Library. Jack B. Walters November 19,2017

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Social Security Scam- letter to the editor

For two years we received no increase in our monthly social security checks. Next year it will go up 2% or $25. Oh I forgot, that is needed to pay for the increased cost of Medicare. As a result we will be paying income taxes on the increase we didn’t receive. If this is not a scam than what is. Jack B. Walters October 17, 2017

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Where this will end

I am writing this prematurely anticipating what will occur. Having received a great deal of attention the NFL players disrespecting our flag and national anthem will return to standing as they should have done all along. The sunshine fans that live and die depending on their team winning or losing will forgive and forget. All will be as before. I will be one of the holdouts. I will not return. They have shown who they are and what they believe. Standing erect now will only be a pretense to elicit the return of their fan’s loyalty and thereby enhancing their exorbitant way of life. Jack B. Walters October 1, 2017