Class Notes

First I want to say congratulations to the Washington Nationals. I have not lived in the D.C. area for many years, but it will always have my heart and be my home town. What an amazing run, the underdog in all four series. I am excited to see D.C. sports have some life back. Great year. now for today’s Class Notes

With WWII already being waged in Europe, Roosevelt knew that America would have to eventually join the fight. However, the American people did not feel the same and let the President know. They felt WWI had not accomplished anything, but take away American lives. Knowing this, Roosevelt gave a speech during his campaign for a third term, where he promised parents that their sons would never have to fight in a foreign war.

I am a big fan of F.D.R., but this is an area where I have issues. I believe F.D.R. knew we would fight and lied to the American people, knowing good and well we could never stay out of the conflict.

Class Notes

For today’s Class Notes, I want to make a shout out to the Battle of Honey Springs Reenactment this weekend, Nov 1-3. Honey Springs was the largest and most important battle in Oklahoma during the Civil War. The Park has events all day and it should be fun for the entire family. The battlefield is near Checotah, OK, not far from Muskogee and the Arkansas border. You can start walking though the camps and listening to speakers beginning at 9:00 am.
If you are interested, I am speaking at noon. The actual reenactment begins at 1:00. Adam Lynn, the site’s director, has done an excellent job at the battlefield and has put together a great program. Also, if you have not been in the last few years, the site now has a new visitor’s center. The weather should be nice this weekend and I hope to see you there.


Finally, go Nats

Class Notes

The nation we now call Syria is actually fairly new. The land was part of the Ottoman Empire until Ottoman’s defeat in WWI. After the war, England and France carved out the modern map of the Middle East. Syria was created in 1920 and was put under the influence of France. It did not gain its independence until 1961. So even though it is in a region that we think of as ancient, the actual nation is only 58 years old.

Before we so quickly judge Syria, remember it took the United States even longer, 89 years, to finally figure things out and the death of 700,000 Americans in the Civil War.

Class Notes

In honor of the Washington National’s first trip to the World Series, I thought I would talk about a great Virginian, Patrick Henry, whom I sure would be a fan.  Most of you know his famous speech during the Revolution, where he declared, “Give me liberty or give me death.”  However, most do not know the even better speech he gave earlier, when protesting the Stamp Act.

In this speech he declared that only Virginia could tax Virginians and that the Stamp Act was basically unconstitutional.  In this speech he ended with, “if this be treason, make the most of it,” followed by some of the best 18th century smack talk, “Caesar had his Brutus, Charles I had his Cromwell, George III?  May he profit from their example.” 

Class Notes

During FDR’s first New Deal, its largest opposition did not come from Republicans, but from Democrats further to the left.  Father Coughlin, a Catholic Priest, mastered the radio as well as FDR and used this new medium to create an empire of loyal listeners.  He complained that FDR had not done enough to curb the power of banks and wanted to see a government takeover of the Banking business.  

An even louder voice was coming from Louisiana.  Huey Long had campaigned for FDR, but when the President did not listen to his advice, he became his strongest opposition.  Long created the “Every Man a King” campaign, where earnings would be capped and excess be dispersed.

I think we are seeing something similar right now in the Democratic Party, with the new left wing fighting against the mainstream traditional Democrats. 

Class Notes

The 14th Amendment may be the most important and detailed Amendment to the Constitution.  Under the Equal Protection Clause, the courts ruled in 1893 that the word “person” meant natural persons, as well as legal persons, meaning corporations.  In Santa Clara Country V. Southern Pacific Railroad, the courts said California could not give better tax rates to one railroad over another.  Corporations fall under equal protection. 

Class Notes

President Herbert Hoover has received an undeserved bad-wrap over the years.  During the Great Depression, he did everything in his power to help.  He was a true reformer and did more for the American people than any other president ever had before him.  What hurts Hoover is that he was followed by Franklin D. Roosevelt, who overshadowed him.  Hoover was the first to try federal building projects and created the Reconstruction Finance Corp that lent money to banks to keep them afloat, programs that will later be associated with FDR. 

We need to start remembering Hoover, a strong president, who faced a massive challenge and stop comparing him to FDR who had WWII to bail America out of financial troubles.