Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Physics of Football

I typed Greatest Play in Super Bowl History into youtube and look what came up. Sure enough, it's the Immaculate Reception by m'boy Eli Manning to David Tyree, in whichever Super Bowl my New York Giant's turned the New England Cheatriots' 18-0 record to 18- D'oH!

The World's Longest Bridge

The World's Longest Bridge just opened in China.

Check it out.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

1776, My Favorite Film (with a Joan Jett Cherry on Top)

Athenian Democracy ended when Athens got too big for its britches, when it stuck its nose where it didn't belong, into a small conflict between a colony of Corinth's on the west coast of Greece, and a colony of that colony. The result was the Peloponnesian War, with the lesser city-states Sparta and Corinth teaming up to defeat mighty Athens, which they did.

So died Democracy, for the next 2000 years.

This is the story of how it came back:

John Adams, newlywed Martha Jefferson, and Ben Franklin, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in June of 1776


The film version of the Broadway musical comedy of the same name. In the days leading up to July 4, 1776, Continental Congressmen John Adams and Benjamin Franklin coerce Thomas Jefferson into writing the Declaration of Independence as a delaying tactic as they try to persuade the American colonies to support a resolution on independence. 

As George Washington sends depressing messages describing one military disaster after another, the businessmen, landowners and slave holders in Congress all stand in the way of the Declaration, and a single "nay" vote will forever end the question of independence. Large portions of spoken and sung dialog are taken directly from the letters and memoirs of the actual participants.  

Written by Dave Heston
Despite or because of the state of the Revolutionary War led by General George Washington, the Second Continental Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, has long skirted the issue of independence from Great Britain, much to the chagrin of its chief proponents, Massachusetts Congressman John Adams and Pennsylvania Congressman Dr. Benjamin Franklin. Adams knows that much of the debate is against him as a person, many who see him as being obnoxious and a blow-hard. 

He decides a more judicious approach may be to work behind the scenes rather than be front and center in the fight as he has been. 

On June 7, 1776, Adams gets Virginia Congressman Richard Henry Lee to propose a motion in Congress to debate the issue, which finally passes. However when the vote for independence finally looks like it will pass, its chief opponent, Pennsylvania Congressman John Dickinson, manages to pass a motion that any vote for independence needs to be unanimous. 

As a delay tactic, Adams initiates a successful motion to postpone the vote for three weeks to July 2, 1776 until they can vote on the actual text for a declaration of independence - his assertion is how can they vote on something that does not exist. Adams and Franklin talk a reluctant Virginia Congressman Thomas Jefferson to be the one to draft the document. Jefferson's reluctance is that he has other more personal issues on his mind. 

As Jefferson takes to his writing duties, Adams and Franklin and their supporters know they only have three weeks to convince the six opposing colonies to support independence. As Franklin states, it may take some improvisation and some compromise. Written by Huggo 

Left to right - John Dickinson, Martha Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson, Richard Henry Lee
And 200+ years later ... we get  ... THIS wonderfulness, which is my .... dream ....

America's Hitler

My favorite holiday is July 4.

I totally love my country, The United States of America, especially our Founding Fathers, who read Voltaire and Locke, and re-birthed Athenian democracy. We're not a perfect country, we've made mistakes, and continue to do so, but we should remember to take the bad with the good, and overall, I think the USA has been a strong and positive influence on Humanity. We have hope. We bounce back from adversity, we work damn hard.

Then, there's this asshole, who set in motion the cogs and gears that would ruin the World economy, beginning with our own country. I promise that tomorrow I will have more pleasant stuff.

Prescott Sheldon Bush
 (May 15, 1895 – October 8, 1972) was a Wall Street executive banker, and a United States Senator representing Connecticut from 1952 until January 1963. He was the father of George H. W. Bush, 41st President of the United States and the paternal grandfather of George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States.



Bush was born in ColumbusOhio, to Samuel Prescott Bush and Flora Sheldon Bush. Samuel Bush was a railroad executive, then a steel company president, and, during World War I, also a federal government official in charge of coordination and assistance to major weapons contractors.
Bush attended St. George's School in Newport, Rhode Island, from 1908 to 1913. In 1913, he enrolled at Yale University, where his grandfather James Smith Bush, class of 1844, and his uncle Robert E. Sheldon Jr., class of 1904, had matriculated. Three subsequent generations of the Bush family have been Yale alumni. Prescott Bush was admitted to the Zeta Psi fraternity and Skull and Bones secret society. George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush are also members of that society.
Prescott Bush played varsity golf, football, and baseball, and was president of the Yale Glee Club.


After graduation, Bush served as a field artillery captain with the American Expeditionary Forces (1917–1919) during World War I. He received intelligence training atVerdunFrance, and was briefly assigned to a staff of French officers. Alternating between intelligence and artillery, Bush came under fire in the Meuse-Argonne offensive.


After his discharge in 1919, Prescott Bush went to work for the Simmons Hardware Company in St. LouisMissouri.
The Bushes moved to Columbus, Ohio, in 1923, where Prescott Bush briefly worked for the Hupp Products Company. In November 1923 to become president of sales for Stedman Products in South Braintree, Massachusetts. During this time, he lived in a Victorian home at 173 Adams Street in Milton, Massachusetts, where his son, George H.W. Bush, was born.
In 1924, Bush became vice-president of A. Harriman & Co. His father-in-law, George Herbert Walker also worked with the company, as did E. Roland Harriman andKnight Woolley, Bush's Yale classmates and fellow Bonesmen. In 1931, Bush became a partner of Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., which was created through the 1931 merger of A. Harriman & Co with Brown Bros. & Co. (a merchant bank founded in PhiladelphiaPennsylvania, in 1818) and with Harriman Brothers & Co.(established in New York City in 1927).
In 1925, Bush joined the United States Rubber Company of New York City as manager of the foreign division, and moved to Greenwich, Connecticut. He was an avid golfer, and in 1935 named head of the USGA.[1]
From 1944 to 1956, Bush was a member of the Yale Corporation, the principal governing body of Yale University. Bush was on the board of directors of CBS, having been introduced to chairman William S. Paleyaround 1932 by his close friend and colleague William Averell Harriman, who became a major Democratic Party power-broker.

Bush and the Union Banking Corporation

Bush was one of seven directors of the Union Banking Corporation, an investment bank controlled by the Thyssen family, which was seized in October 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy Act as being owned by "enemy aliens." The assets were held by the government for the duration of the war, then returned afterward.
An article relying on conspiracy theorist John Buchanan's work, The Guardian , stated that the company formed part of a multinational network of front companies to allow Thyssen to move assets around the world.[2] The Alien Property Custodian records state "Whether all or part of the funds held by Union Banking Corporation, or companies associated with it, belong to Fritz Thyssen could not be established in this investigation."[3]
In 2003, the Anti-Defamation League said:
Rumors about the alleged Nazi 'ties' of the late Prescott Bush ... have circulated widely through the internet in recent years. These charges are untenable and politically motivated. Despite some early financial dealings between Prescott Bush and a Nazi industrialist named Fritz Thyssen (who was arrested by the Nazi regime in 1938 and imprisoned during the war), Prescott Bush was neither a Nazi nor a Nazi sympathizer.[2][4]


Bush was politically active on social issues. He was involved with the American Birth Control League as early as 1942, and served as the treasurer of the first national capital campaign of Planned Parenthood in 1947. Bush was also an early supporter of the United Negro College Fund, serving as chairman of the Connecticut branch in 1951.

Bush with President Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Oval Office.
From 1947 to 1950, he served as Connecticut Republican finance chairman, and was the Republican candidate for the United States Senate in 1950. A columnist in Boston said that Bush "is coming on to be known as President Truman's Harry Hopkins. Nobody knows Mr. Bush and he hasn't a Chinaman's chance."[5] Bush's ties with Planned Parenthood also hurt him in heavily Catholic Connecticut, and were the basis of a last-minute campaign in churches by Bush's opponents; the family vigorously denied the connection, but Bush lost to Benton by only 1,000 votes.
In 1952, he was elected to the Senate, defeating Abraham Ribicoff for the seat vacated by the death of James O'Brien McMahon. A staunch supporter of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Bush served until January 1963. He was reelected in 1956 with 55 percent of the vote over Democrat Thomas J. Dodd (later U.S. Senator from Connecticut and father of the recent U.S. Senator from Connecticut, Christopher J. Dodd), and decided not to run for another term in 1962. He was a key ally for the passage of Eisenhower's Interstate Highway System,[6] and during his tenure supported the Polaris submarine project (which were built by Electric Boat Corporation in Groton, Connecticut), civil rights legislation, and the establishment of the Peace Corps.[7]
On December 2, 1954, Bush was part of the large (67-22) majority to censure Wisconsin Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy, after McCarthy had taken on the U.S. Army and the Eisenhower administration. Eisenhower later included Bush's name on an undated handwritten list of prospective candidates he favored for the 1960 GOP presidential nomination.
In terms of issues, Bush often agreed with New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller, but personally disliked and politically opposed him, despite the close relationship his father had with the Rockefeller family. During the 1964 election, Bush denounced Rockefeller for divorcing his first wife and marrying a woman about 20 years his junior with whom Rockefeller had been having an affair while married to his first wife.[7]
Another of Senator Bush's major legislative interests was flood and hurricane protection for New England communities. He drafted Public Law 71, the Bush Hurricane Survey Act, enabling Army engineers to develop a new program of community protection against tidal flooding.[8][9]


The grave of Prescott Bush
Bush married Dorothy Walker on August 6, 1921, in Kennebunkport, Maine. They had five children: Prescott Bush, Jr. (Aug 10, 1922 - June 23, 2010),[10][11][12] George H. W. Bush (b. 1924, named after Dorothy's father George Herbert Walker), Nancy Bush (b. 1926), Jonathan Bush (b. 1931), and William "Bucky" Bush (b. 1938).
Bush founded the Yale Glee Club Associates, an alumni group, in 1937. Following his father-in-law, he was a member of the United States Golf Association (USGA), serving successively as secretary, vice-president and president, 1928-1935. He was a multi-year club champion of the Round Hill Club in Greenwich, Connecticut, and was on the committee set up by New York City Mayor Robert F. Wagner, Jr. to help create the New York Mets.
Bush maintained homes in New York, Long Island, and Greenwich, Connecticut; the family compound at Kennebunkport, Maine; a 10,000 acre (40 km²) plantation inSouth Carolina; and a secluded island off the Connecticut coast, Fishers Island.

The headstone of Prescott Bush
He died in 1972 at age 77 and was interred at Putnam Cemetery in Greenwich, Connecticut.


Bush's articles include:
  • "Timely Monetary Policy," Banking, June 1955 and July 1955
  • "To Preserve Peace Let's Show the Russians How Strong We Are!" Reader's Digest, July 1959
  • "Politics Is Your Business," Chamber of Commerce, State of New York, Bulletin, May 1960



  1. ^ AP (1934-11-09). "Prescott Bush Named Head Of U.S.G.A.". The Washington Post.
  2. a b Campbell, Duncan (September 25, 2004). "How Bush's grandfather helped Hitler's rise to power". London: The Guardian. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Fair Enough" by Westbrook Pegler, Burlington Daily News-Times (North Carolina), August 22, 1950
  6. ^ "A Bush at Both Ends: Before and After the Interstate Era". U.S. Federal Highway Administration. January 18, 2005 (last modified). Retrieved 2006-08-06.
  7. a b Stephen Mansfield (2004). The Faith of George W. Bush. Tarcher.
  8. ^ McQuaid, John; Schleifstein, Mark (2006). Path of Destruction: The Devastation of New Orleans and the Coming Age of Superstorms. Little, Brown and Company: Hachette Book Group USA. p. 54. ISBN 978-0-316-01642-1.
  9. ^ Freudenburg, William R.; Gramling, Robert; Laska, Shirley; Erikson, Kai (2009). Catastrophe in the Making: The Engineering of Katrina and the Disasters of Tomorrow. Washington, DC: Island Press. p. 26. ISBN 978-1-59726-682-6.
  10. ^ O'Connor, Anahad (June 24, 2010). "Prescott Bush Jr., Scion of a Political Family, Dies at 87". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-06-25.
  11. ^
  12. ^


  • The Prescott Bush Papers are at the University of Connecticut, Storrs.
  • The Greenwich Library Oral History Project has interviews with Prescott Bush, Jr., and Mary Walker.
  • There is material by and about Bush in the History of the Class of 1917 Yale College (1919) and the supplementary class albums.
  • John Atlee Kouwenhoven, Partners in Banking: An Historical Portrait of a Great Private Bank, Brown Brothers Harriman (1968).
  • Obituaries are in the Washington Post, October 9, 1972; the New York Times, October 9, 1972; the Hartford Courant, October 9, 1972; and Yale Alumni Magazine, December 1972.
  • "Prescott Sheldon Bush. "Dictionary of American Biography, Supplement 9: 1971-1975. Charles Scribner's Sons, 1994.
  • Darwin Payne, Initiative in Energy: Dresser Industries, Inc., 1880-1978. New York: Simon and Schuster (1979).


United States Senate
Preceded by
William A. Purtell
United States Senator (Class 3) from Connecticut
November 5, 1952—January 3, 1963
Served alongside: William B. BentonWilliam A. PurtellThomas J. Dodd
Succeeded by
Abraham A. Ribicoff