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Ben Franklin's bifocals Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Father of Modern Chemistry Antoine Lavoisier
[1743 - Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier, chemist, born in Paris]

Fitch's steamboat patent sketch
[1791 - John Fitch granted US patent for his steamboat]

[1839 - USS Washington seizes Spanish slaver Amistad]

Vacuum Tube Inventor Dr. Lee De Forest
[1873 - Lee De Forest, inventor, born in Council Bluffs, Iowa]

Krakatoa eruption
[1883 - Krakatoa Volcano begins to erupt and explode]

Writer Christopher Isherwood
[1904 - Christopher Isherwood, novelist, playwright, born in Disley, Chesire, England]

Research Physician Albert Sabin
[1906 - Dr. Albert B Sabin, polio vaccine discoverer, born in Bialystok, Russia (now Poland)]

woman's vote banner
[1920 - 19th amendment enacted (women's suffrage)

[1957 - Russia announces successful intercontinental ballistic missile test]

Seal the Borders!

Great Wall of China

The demonstrated porousness of the US borders has politicians falling all over one another in the attempt to appear stronger than the next guy on the issue of protecting the homeland from terrorists, immigrants, illegal aliens, legal aliens, extraterrestrials, and other undesirables. In the rhetoric and emotion of the manufactured security crisis over illegal immigrants, we seem to have forgotten that virtually all of the 9/11 terrorists were able to enter this country legally and take advantage of our excellent flying schools to learn enough piloting skills to crash airplanes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and, but for some brave patriots, the White House or US Capitol.

As earlier emperors learned in China, you can build the biggest and longest wall the world has ever seen and it will not keep you safe. Those who threaten you will find a way over, under, through, or around your best barriers. So, why are the President and Vice-President set on increasing the national debt by spending more billions of taxpayer dollars on the latest in an unbroken series of failed walls on the pretext of sealing our borders? Could it be that those billions will flow to their Halliburton friends and other corporate cronies?

Uncle Sam in debt

William's Whimsical Words:

Perish the thought that those same billions could go into a really first rate system of wetland improvements, levies, gates, pumps, and channels to protect the city of New Orleans from a repeat of the Katrina disaster. After all, the poor people who drowned there as a result of presidential neglect contribute very little to the campaign funds of incumbents.

2005 New Orleans Katrina roof garden

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