Posted by: Democratic Thinker | March 4, 2015

Oath of Secrecy

Background of the American Revolution

In prepartion for war, the members of the Second Continental Congress bind themselves to secrecy.

… and that if any member shall violate this agreement he shall be expelled from this Congress & deemed an enemy to the liberties of America …

Oath of Secrecy.


In Congress Novr. 9th“: 1775.

RESOLVED, That every member of this Congress, consider himself, under the ties of virtue, honor and love of his country, not to divulge directly or indirectly any matter or thing agitated or debated in Congress before the same shall have been determined in Congress; nor any matter determined in Congress which a majority of the Congress shall order to be kept secret, and that if any member shall violate this agreement he shall be expelled from this Congress & deemed an enemy to the liberties of America and liable to be treated as such & that every member signify his assent to this agreement by signing the same.

Read More…

Posted by: Democratic Thinker | March 3, 2015

Commentary: Muslims Invite Christians To Come Together


Shira Sorko-Ram writing for Maoz Israel–a Messianic Jewish organization–,comments on a common Moslem practice.


We could ask ourselves, “What if followers of the god Zeus asked us to “engage with them in an interfaith discussion of love of their god Zeus and love of our God Jehovah – “a discussion that would support the important work of reconciliation between these two great religious communities.”.

Monthly Report: March 2015
Adar – Nisan 5775
Open in PDF

0315 - Top - A Common Word website
Website of Muslim Initiative inviting Christians to engage in dialogue concerning
what is common to the two religions. (


By Shira Sorko-Ram

Seven and a half years ago, 138 sheikhs, muftis, and a variety of Islamic imams, professors, judges and politicians from around the world reached out their hand of fellowship to the Christian world.

Their invitation, titled “A Common Word Between Us and You” began like this:

Muslims and Christians together make up well over half of the world’s population. Without peace and justice between these two religious communities, there can be no meaningful peace in the world. The future of the world depends on peace between Muslims and Christians.

The basis for this peace and understanding already exists. It is part of the very foundational principles of both faiths: love of the One God, and love of the neighbour. These principles are found over and over again in the sacred texts of Islam and Christianity. The Unity of God, the necessity of love for Him, and the necessity of love of the neighbour is thus the common ground between Islam and Christianity. The following are only a few examples:

Of God’s Unity, God says in the Holy Qur’an: Say: He is God, the One! / God, the Self-Sufficient Besought of all! (Al-Ikhlas 112:1-2). Of the necessity of love for God, God says in the Holy Qur’an: So invoke the Name of thy Lord and devote thyself to Him with a complete devotion (Al-Muzzammil 73:8). Of the necessity of love for the neighbour, the Prophet Muhammad said: “None of you has faith until you love for your neighbour what you love for yourself.”

The Muslim scholars then quoted Jesus, Yeshua the Messiah’s commandment of love:

In the New Testament, Jesus Christ said: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. / And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31)

Therefore, opine the Muslim leaders, Allah instructs the Muslim people to issue a “call” to Christians and Jews.

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Posted by: Democratic Thinker | March 2, 2015

News: Second Year of No Water for Some Central Valley Irrigators


Chris Clarke reports for the independent public television station KCET on the water shortage in California’s Central Valley.

The Bureau says it will be keeping an eye on the water supply, and may well increase water allocations if late-season rains help alleviate this fourth year of severe drought.




Rewater logo


A look at California’s water issues, from lakes to the ocean coast.



Think those December rains fixed the state’s drought? Think again. The federal agency that manages the state’s Central Valley Project (CVP) announced Friday that some of its largest agricultural customers may get no water this year, and the project’s urban and industrial customers will endure another year of severe cuts in their own water supplies.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which operates the massive water project, is projecting that it will be able to provide its “municipal and industrial” customers with a quarter of their historic annual use this year, or whatever amount those customers need to ensure public health and safety if that 25 percent isn’t enough.

That’s a harsh enough ration, but the Central Valley Project’s farm customers got even worse news: for the second year in a row, CVP agricultural water service contractors will get zero percent of the amount to which they’re legally entitled in a wet year.

Read More…

Posted by: Democratic Thinker | March 2, 2015

The Mountain Stage

Butterfield Overland Mail–March 3, 1857


Overland Mail-Express Arriving in Town.


The Mountain Stage.

Henry M. Hoyt, Jr. The Pacific Monthly, December, 1908.


PITCHIN’ on the precipice, sluggin’ through the sand,
(Got ‘em runnin’ easy now, holdin’ with one hand);
Playin’ with the chinkin’ bits, pullin’ on the load—
That’s the way to bring ‘er out,
String ‘er out,
Swing ‘er out,
With all the hosses goin’ fine, a-tearin’ down the road!

Read More…

Posted by: Democratic Thinker | March 1, 2015

Weekly Story: Documents help unravel enigma of Toledo history

Weekly Story

Mark Reiter—for the Toledo Blade—reports on newly found documents relating to old Fort Industry.

The fort’s location was chosen by General Burbeck after he explored the Maumee River at Swan Creek several weeks earlier. His letter to the lieutenant places it on the bank “between 40 or 50 feet” above the stream and about 1,200 feet from the water.


Toledo Blade.
Published: Sunday, 3/1/2015 – Updated: 56 seconds ago


Documents help unravel enigma of Toledo history

Fort Industry detailed in 1800s letters



An early 19th-century military stockade built more than three decades before Toledo’s founding has always been somewhat of an enigma.

The structure, called Fort Industry, appears on Toledo’s official city flag and seal and adorns city vehicles, police officers’ patches, and other city property.

U.S. officials and leaders of Native American nations gathered at the site for the July 4, 1805, signing of the Treaty of Fort Industry, which ceded 500,000 acres in Huron and Erie counties to the United States.

Inaccurate images of the fort based on artists’ conjecture exist in drawings and paintings.

Read More…

Posted by: Democratic Thinker | February 28, 2015

Commentary: How science celebrities often hurt science


Czech physicist Luboš Motl, at the Reference Frame, offers a perspective on celebrity scientists.


So I have mentioned that the “positive roles” attributed to the science pop stars don’t depend on their research quality or, more generally, on their knowledge of and relationship to the cutting-edge science. While this fact makes it possible for many people – including mediocre men such as Neil deGrasse Tyson – to play these roles, it also leads to a general problem.

The Reference Frame—Our stringy Universe from a conservative viewpoint.

saturday, february ‎28, ‎2015 …

How science celebrities often hurt science

Backreaction responded to Lawrence Krauss’ essay which argued that celebrity scientists such as Einstein, Feynman, Sagan, and Tyson are generally good for science and the society because they motivate young people, help to fight scientific nonsense, promote scientific literacy, and improve decision making.

Sabine Hossenfelder says that the celebrity status is just very weakly correlated with one’s being a great scientist, she instinctively avoids fandoms, those celebrities do influence what scientists discuss and study, but she believes that they don’t hurt, after all. In her perspective, the most serious related problem is that the vast majority of quality science gets unnoticed by the public; I agree with this comment. And she promotes science blogs as windows into the real science. Well, my reactions to this comment are mixed.

Before I write a few remarks about the general science pop star issue, allow me to reply to Hossenfelder’s revelation that she never liked Feynman’s writing. Well, while I have never been a worshiper, I always did like Feynman’s writing. A few months after the Velvet Revolution, I borrowed (the Czech translation of) “Surely You’re Joking, Mr Feynman” from a friend of mine.

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Posted by: Democratic Thinker | February 28, 2015

On the Same

Latona—“I beg of you to give me a drink of water.”

“I beg of you to give me a drink of water.”


On the Same.
(On the reception his Book of Divorce met with.)


I DID but prompt the age to quit their cloggs
By the known rules of antient libertie,
When strait a barbarous noise environs me
Of Owles and Cuckoes, Asses, Apes and Doggs.
As when those Hinds that were transform’d to Froggs
Rail’d at Latona’s twin-born progenie
Which after held the Sun and Moon in fee. Read More…

Posted by: Democratic Thinker | February 27, 2015

Commentary: Free Think


Jeff Id—business owner and aeronautical engineer—expresses his frustration with corrupt government funded scientists, oppressive government officials, and the general loss of freedoms, over at his blog, the Air Vent.


The government money is creating and empowering the fraud — INTENTIONALLY! This is not an accident. The purpose of the climate science exaggerations from the government perspective, is reduced freedom and increased government power. That is the value of the exaggerations on climate, and that is what we are being taxed for. There is nothing else in climate science that you really need to know.


the Air Vent.

Free Think

Posted by Jeff Id on February 26, 2015


Wei-Hock Soon is accused of failing to disclose funding from corporations in his research.  We don’t seem to know if the funding was for any of the research but to the left-wing climate radicals, that doesn’t really matter.

This isn’t about climate folks.   This never was.   It is about politics and enacting a totalitarian style socialist government with the same faux democracy you see in China and North Korea.  It is an openly visible government plot to gain ever more power.  Driven by bureaucrats personally incentivized by the massive money and power government offers.   It IS LED by liberal “progressive” Democrats and it is leading to a very bad place.   Unfortunately, no political party is immune from power and the two primary parties we get to pick from are just different rates of change in the same very bad direction.  Don’t believe me, then you need to learn your history better.   You have been duped.

We are losing our freedoms in America at a massive rate, the internet just took a huge and completely unnecessary blow today.  The unelected portion of the government gave itself the power to tax, regulate, limit and redistribute internet access.   How long until we find preferred content getting favorable treatment.  No Jeff, that would be illegal!  If you think like that, you are again wrong… ever hear of the IRS. Are you really naive enough to believe that tax laws aren’t used as a political weapon? —I doubt it. Americans have no clue how much of their own medical freedoms they have just lost either, and it will be decades before they really figure it out.  The massive tax increases which were finally enacted last year are already having a huge impact on businesses and employment.  I have personal experience with that particular impact.  Not that people care about business when the government adjusts the government employment performance numbers to hide their failure.

Read More…

Posted by: Democratic Thinker | February 26, 2015

News: Russian space agency endorses ISS until 2024


Spaceflight Now reports that Russia will separate its modules from the International Space Station to build its own base.


Russia’s space program — as described in the Roscosmos press release — will include a series of robotic missions to lunar orbit and the surface of the moon in the 2020s in preparation for a visit by cosmonauts in the 2030s.



Spaceflight Now.

Russian space agency endorses ISS until 2024

A view of the International Space Station's main power truss. Credit: ESA/NASA/Samantha Cristoforetti.

A view of the International Space Station’s main power truss. Credit: ESA/NASA/Samantha Cristoforetti.

Russia plans to stay part of the International Space Station partnership until 2024, then undock its modules to create a standalone base in orbit, the Russian space agency announced Tuesday.

A statement posted to the Russian space agency’s website said a meeting of the Roscosmos science and technical council considered Russia’s future human spaceflight plans, favoring the continued use of the International Space Station until 2024.

Then Russia plans to remove its modules from the International Space Station to form an all-Russian complex in orbit.

The statement said “a configuration of a multi-purpose laboratory module, a (docking) node module, and a scientific power module creates a promising Russian space station to meet the challenges of providing secure access to space (for Russia).”

Read More…

Posted by: Democratic Thinker | February 26, 2015

Weekly Story: Battle Hymn of the Republic

Weekly Story

Julia Ward Howe relates how she came to write the Civil War hymn.

It must have been’ at the earliest touch of dawn that I awoke, and lying in my bed, began in my mind to twine the long lines of a hymn which promised to suit the measure of the John Brown melody. Each verse in succession seemed to write itself clearly in my thoughts,


Uprising of the People.


Battle Hymn of the Republic.


Julia Ward Howe.

IN the late autumn of the first year of the war for the Union, a strong feeling of interest and of wonder drew me with many others, to the city of Washington, which had become the center of military operations. Bitterly as we deplored the war itself, its features had yet for us the interest of the greatest novelty, and we could not help thinking with romantic enthusiasm of the new and strange sights which we were about to see. These began when we passed the first pickets of our army, which were stationed at intervals along the railroad between Baltimore and Washington. This was on a chill November evening, and the little groups of soldiers seated around a pile of blazing logs made for us a new and attractive picture.

Arriving within the city, we found abundant evidence of its military occupation. A number of troops were quartered within it, and small bodies of armed men marched frequently through the streets. Officers and orderlies galloped past the windows of our hotel. Ambulances came and went. Buildings here and there were designated as military headquarters. Quite near our hotel was a ghastly reminder of what was going on, in the shape of an establishment for embalming the bodies of the dead, so that they might be removed to the places designated by their friends for burial.

The minds of all were intent upon the war, and no news were asked for other than intelligence of the various skirmishes and encounters which were constantly taking place between our men and those of the enemy.

Read More…

Posted by: Democratic Thinker | February 25, 2015

Second Petition to the King (July 8, 1775)

Background of the American Revolution

Following the Battle of Bunker Hill the Continental Congress—meeting in Philadelphia—sends one final petition to the king. Richard Penn and Arthur Lee present it to the House of Lords Sepetember 4, 1775, where, after debate, Lord Dartmouth said no answer would be given.

We shall decline the ungrateful task of describing the irksome variety of artifices, practised by many of your majesty’s ministers, the delusive pretences, fruitless terrors, and unavailing severities, that have, from time to time, been dealt out by them, in their attempts to execute this impolitic plan, or of tracing, through a series of years past, the progress of the unhappy differences between Great Britain and these colonies, that have flowed from this fatal source.

Second Petition to the King.



The Congress met according to adjournment. The Petition to the King being engrossed, was compared, and signed by the several members,—SATURDAY, July 8, 1775.

To the King’s most Excellent Majesty:

Most Gracious SOVEREIGN,

John Dickinson.

WE, your majesty’s most faithful subjects, of the colonies of New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, the counties of New Castle, Kent, and Sussex, on Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, in behalf of ourselves and the inhabitants of these colonies, who have deputed us to represent them in general Congress, entreat your majesty’s gracious attention to this our humble petition.

The union between our mother country and these colonies, and the energy of mild and just government, produced benefits so remarkably important, and afforded such an assurance of their permanency and increase, that the wonder and envy of other nations were excited, while they beheld Great Britain rising to a power the most extraordinary the world had ever known.

Her rivals, observing there was no probability of this happy connexion being broken by civil dissensions, and apprehending its future effects, if left any longer undisturbed, resolved to prevent her receiving such continual and formidable accessions of wealth and strength, by checking the growth of those settlements from which they were to be derived.

Read More…

Posted by: Democratic Thinker | February 24, 2015

Analysis: Borderland Beat: 10 years of Terror in Tamaulipas


Borderland Beat reporter, Otis B. Flywheel, translates from Spanish a Mexican news organization’s article on drug cartel violence in the Mexican state just south of Texas.


In relation to this, the Chairman of the Committee for Human Rights of Nuevo Laredo, Raymundo Ramos Vazquez, expressed that the Government strategy “was born dead, because they are repeating the strategy of Felipe Calderon Hinojosa, to face violence with violence, bringing to the streets thousand of military and police personnel without attacking the causes.”

NOTICE: In the last few years numerous journalists in Mexico have been killed. Borderland Beat reporters use aliases.


Borderland Beat

Friday, February 20, 2015

10 years of Terror in Tamaulipas

Translated for Borderland Beat from a Tamaulipas 3.0 article by Otis B Fly-Wheel

Diez Años de Terror (Ten Years of Terror)

(Ten Years of Terror)

Tamaulipas is the northern state most associated with violence, one that you cannot name without the typical comments arising that bring the harsh reality that exists in the state, and although violence is widespread throughout the country, but here were born the Zetas with all their violent fury, here they made their stronghold and with narco corridos have become part of the social culture.

This is Reynosa to Nuevo Laredo, because from Reynosa to San Fernando, there is a more ancient history, the longest lived cartel of Mexico, which can be attributed to the birth of the Zetas.

Tamaulipas is composed of 43 Municipalities, of which few do not have organized crime activities in its streets.

There have been more than ten years of violence in the state, of failed strategies, and where cells of criminals have multiplied as has been documented at along with other blogs like Valor por Tamaulipas ( and Borderland Beat: Otis ).

Read More…

Posted by: Democratic Thinker | February 23, 2015

February 23, 1945: U.S. Marines Raise the Flag on Mount Suribachi

U.S. Marines Raise the Flag on Mount Suribachi.
February 23, 1945.


Three Cent Stamp.

Three Cent Stamp—issued July 11, 1945.

Read More…

Posted by: Democratic Thinker | February 20, 2015

Weekly Story: Blizzard of 1886

Weekly Story

Railroad man Otto P. Byers recalls events in Kansas during the blizzard of 1886.

That commercialism will invade misfortune, and even death, was never better illustrated. Speculators originated the plan of buying of the unfortunate ranchmen, for a very small sum, all the cattle of their brand they could find alive.




Personal Recollections of the Terrible Blizzard of 1886.

Written for the Kansas State Historical Society by O. P. Byers, of Hutchinson.


The Last of 5000 (Waiting for a Chinook)—Charles M. Russell.

THE autumn and early winter of 1885 were of the grandeur possible only to the western plains. The enchanting haze of the Indian summer was never more resplendent, thrilling the soul of the lover of nature and making the distant landscape seem a phantom.

The morning of December 31 dawned clear and mild, with a low barometer, and a peculiar yellowish purple bordering the northern horizon. Early in the forenoon a single fleecy cloud from the northwest and a very rapidly rising barometer foretold a coming storm. By noon a light rain was falling. The temperature in a few hours had fallen below zero. The storm, gaining force hourly, continued throughout the night, and by morning it might very truthfully be said the state was frozen solid. This in itself was not unusual, nor was it seriously feared, but as the storm did not abate during the second day or the following night the situation became alarming. The temperature continued to fall until it then reached twenty degrees below zero. Neither had the terrifying wind abated in the slightest. The atmosphere had assumed a peculiar blackness characteristic of such storms, and the fine, driven snow made breathing most difficult. Day after day the storm continued, each cessation quickly followed by another storm, making it practically continuous. The temperature did not rise to zero from the first night to the last, the latter part of the month, and generally ranged from fifteen to thirty below.

Read More…

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