Archive for February, 2017

President Trump’s Address to Congress Tonight

I recommend going to C-SPAN for this speech. Not only will it be shown in its entirety, but a transcript will be available and the speech, as with any political event covered by this site, will be permanently archived.

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“Uncle Tom’s Cabin” As It First Appeared

Many people are not aware that the great anti-slavery work Uncle Tom’s Cabin was first published as a weekly serial in the National Era; it appeared in forty-one issues and elicited many letters to the editor. As was not uncommon during these times, the first novel edition (2 vols, 1852) was different than its serial counterpart. Much more information on this work can be found here.

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Did the Lewis & Clark Expedition Have a Black Participant?

The Corps of Discovery did indeed have a black man as part of its travels – it was William Clark’s slave named York. We have no knowledge of his first name and scant biographical information. Much of what we know of him can be gleaned from the authoritatively edited Journals and glimpsed in the recently published Dear Brother: Letters of William Clark to Jonathan Clark. A summation of his activities on the exploration could read as the following: “He seems to have carried a gun and to have performed his full share of the duties with other members of the party; a body servant who could neither defend himself nor carry his share of the load would have been an unacceptable luxury on the expedition.” (Journals, volume 2, appendix A)

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National Academies Press – Security Monographs

This august body sponsors research, seminars and symposiums on a wide variety of topics from agriculture to transportation. So it should come as no surprise that over 500 books are available in the “Conflict and Security” link. The works range from Building Community Disaster Resilience to Reliability Growth: Enhancing Defense System Reliability, and you have the ability to do keyword searching of this sub-section of the Press as you do in any of the other areas covered, such as climate change (128 books); computers and information technology (281 books); and law and justice (79). The works can be as current as 2017 and usually are supplemented with informative bibliographies  that contain links where available.

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Characteristics of the 115th Congress

This brief CRS report presents a statistical overview of this Congress:

“Statistical information is included on selected characteristics of Members, including data on party affiliation, average age, occupation, education, length of congressional service, religious affiliation, gender, ethnicity, foreign births, and military service.”  (Summary)

Also, consult The Hill’s 115th Congress Will be the Most Racially Diverse in History for more data.



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Jersey City #1 in Diversity

According to WalletHub, Jersey City is the most diverse city in the United States with an overall score of 95.88. You can review the methodology and criteria employed.

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EPA Administrator Pruitt’s Close Relationship With Energy Companies

This cache of over 7000 pages of emails outlines the very close relations EPA Administraor Pruitt had with energy companies while he was Oklahoma Attorney General and fighting federal environmental regulations. These communications between him, his staff, and oil company executives paint a picture that has troubling implications for the future of the environment.

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