country field snow wallpaper, we could have been fredonia, most dangerous episode in human history

country field winter snow wallpaper

country field winter snow wallpaper

Almost an Alleghanian: or how the New York Historical Society tried to change the nation’s name to the United States of Alleghania

On April 1, 1845, a three-person Committee appointed by the New-York Historical Society reported on “the subject of the irrelevant appellation, at present used for this country” and discussed a geographical name more likely to “promote national associations and prove efficient in History, Poetry and Art.”  As these remarks suggest, the Committee was dissatisfied with the name “United States of America,” for several reasons.

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Second, the term “United States of America” was neither distinctive nor accurate, there being “on this continent four or five ‘United States.”  Finally, it was distressing to poets, who found the phrase too unwieldy to properly celebrate in verse (even as talented a writer as Irving wondered how our poets would “manage to steer that collocation of words, “The United States of America,’ down the swelling tide of song, and to float the whole raft out upon the sea of heroic poesy”).

To remedy this unfortunate situation, the Committee members urged adoption of a name taken from “our mountains, or our lakes, or our rivers” — specifically (as Irving had urged), the Alleganian or Appalachian chain of mountains.  “What we want,” concluded the Committee, “is a sign of our identity.  We want utterance for our nationality.”  They found the Alleganian range — which “binds the country together, as with a band of iron,” and was also associated with “the best parts of our own history, with colonial adventure, and revolutionary heroism” — exactly suited to this purpose.

At least North, South and Latin America were fortunate enough to be named after the feminized Latin version of Amerigo Vespucci’s name. We could have been called Columbia after Columbus. The Massachusetts Historical Society did suggest calling the nation. Columbia. As the NYHS noted in 1845 everyone on those three continents was an American. As much as I like the Allegheny mountains and the Appalachia mountain range, to be called an Alleganian doesn’t really call to mind the identity of the nation. Most of the NYHS has similar thoughts – in between ridicule at the idea – though there was another option,

The Committee’s enthusiasm for the new name was not, however, shared by the rest of the country — or, for that matter, even the rest of the Society, who rejected the proposal at an apparently heated meeting held on May 13, 1845 (according to the Evening Gazette, Society President Albert Gallatin, formerly Thomas Jefferson’s Secretary of Treasury, had difficulty keeping the members in order).  Pointing out that the frontier had moved further west, the Evening Gazette ridiculed the name Allegania, and suggested that perhaps the name Fredonia should be adopted instead.  While the sarcasm may not be obvious to modern readers, this referred jokingly to a prior and much-ridiculed proposal by statesman Samuel L. Mitchell to rename the USA Fredonia, a word he coined by combining the English “freedom” with a latinate ending.

The Fredes or Fredonians

Fredonian doesn’t sound too bad, but it does conjure up a mental image of what some Glenn Beck like librarian-conservative cult would call their exclusive private gated city.

The National Archives has a special exhibit going up called, “To the Brink: JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis”

For two weeks in October 1962, the world teetered on the edge of thermonuclear war and the end of civilization as we know it. Earlier that fall, the Soviet Union, under orders from Premier Nikita Khrushchev, began secretly to deploy a nuclear strike force in Cuba, just 90 miles from the United States, with missiles that could reach most major U.S. cities in less than 5 minutes. President John F. Kennedy said the missiles would not be tolerated, and insisted on their removal. Khrushchev refused. The stand-off nearly caused a nuclear exchange and is remembered in this country as the Cuban missile crisis.

“To the Brink” is a look back at the most dangerous episode in human history. Featuring clandestine real-time White House recordings from Kennedy’s meetings in October 1962, the exhibit allows visitors to listen in on the government’s highest level meetings as the President and his advisers worked intensely to avert a nuclear confrontation. Original documents, artifacts, and photographs help bring this milestone event to life.

I was trying to think of a more dangerous situation and thought of the millions who died on the Russian Front in WW II. The death toll would be equivalent to a nuclear blast, but there was no danger of a nuclear conflagration that might have destroyed most, if not all human life on the planet.

feet of stones wallpaper

feet of stones wallpaper

Our feudal overloads will never have enough,  Starbucks Tycoon CEO Howard Schultz Bullies the Baristas.

The billionaires peddling austerity have always insisted that they’re in it for the common man. A recent TV ad for Fix the Debt—the well-heeled group demanding that we cut tax rates and Social Security benefits—stars a teacher and a farmer. But Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz did his peers one better: conscripting countless low-wage workers into the austerity army.

If one has to work for less than a living wage the least the executives could do is shut-up and not coerce you into being their public relations puppets.

If anyone else finds using the native WP interface awkward to use and you’re running Windows, you might try Windows Live Writer. Except for a little editing and the graphics I wrote this post in WLW.