Texas Liberal

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Learn About Paul Revere And His Ride For Yourself—You Are Crazy To Let Others Define Your Past

Due to recent comments by Sarah Palin, Paul Revere’s Ride is in the news.

When important events in American history find their way back into the news, that is a good time to take your own initiative to learn the real facts.

Above is John Singleton Copley’s 1768 painting of Paul Revere.

Here is how this painting is described by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

Revere, a silversmith, is seen here as both a working person and as a thinker.

Every working person has the ability to understand complex things if he or she is willing to make the effort.

An excellent book about Paul Revere and the Boston he knew is Paul Revere And The World He Lived In by Esther Forbes.

A book about the famous ride that got strong reviews is Paul Revere’s Ride by David Hackett Fischer.  I have not read this title.

If you have the good fortune to be able to visit Boston, you can tour the home where Paul Revere and his family lived.

Here are facts about the Midnight Ride from the Revere Home. 

Below is a picture of the Revere home that I took in 2008.

In Boston you can also visit the famous Old North Church. 

This is the church where the lanterns were hung on the night of Paul Revere’s ride.

Below is a picture I took from inside the Old North Church in 2008.

Please allow me to be clear—You don’t need to go to Boston to learn about Paul Revere and his ride. All the information you need is at the library, the bookstore, and on the internet.

The things you need to learn about yourself and your world are all around you. These things are accessible with effort and imagination.

You are crazy if you allow other people to tell you about your past.

If you allow other people define your past—and by extension to define the person you are—you will lose control of your future.

June 7, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Albion’s Seed Is Texas Liberal Book Of The Day—Toxic Trees In Russia

Blogger’s Note—Because I have some other projects I want to take on, I’ll be offering up shorter and more formulaic posts for the remainder of August. These posts will still be quite good and will merit your visiting the blog each day. Yet at the same time, shorter posts will allow me time to accomplish other objectives. Thanks for reading Texas Liberal.

Texas Liberal Book Of The DayAlbion’s Seed—Four British Folkways In America by David Hackett Fischer. This is book is shown above by my friend Hamburger Wearing An Astros’ Hat.

This book is an account of the ongoing impact of British settlement in colonial America. It is interesting to see how the beliefs and habits of people who lived so many years ago are still impacting American life. You can see by how tattered the book ios that Hamburger really enjoyed this title.

Link Of The Day-The forest fires in Russia are burning trees that were coated in radioactive fallout from the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident. This has raised a concern of radioactive smoke.

We’ve found a way in the world to make even trees be toxic.

Texas Link Of The Day—Please be certain to visit the Houston political blog Brains & Eggs each chance you get.

Local political bloggers do the best they can do with the time they have to make the world a better place.

August 12, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

An Expansive Idea Of Family In Colonial Virginia

I’ve been reading  Albion’s Seed—Four British Folkways In North America. This book was written by David Hackett Fischer.   

Here is what I read today in this book about the definition of family in 17th Century Colonial Virgina–

“The word family tended to be a more comprehensive term in Virginia than in Massachusetts. Virginians addressed relatives of all sorts as “coz” or “cousin” in expressions that were heavy with affective meaning; but the term “brother” was used more loosely as a salutation for friends, neighbors, political allies, and even business acquaintances. It is interesting to observe that an extended kin-term tended to be more intimate than the language of a nuclear relationship. The reverse tended to be the case in Massachusetts.”   

Fully understanding that this idea of family did not extend to slaves, there is a lot to be said for this concept  of family. It’s an idea we can update for the current day.  The broader the definition of family, the happier your may be. We are all connected in this life. The people in our immediate nuclear family may or may not be the people we really want around us.   

Here is my post “People Have A Right To Define Family Anyway They Wish.” This is a signature post of this blog.

Here is some good history of 17th-century Virginia.

January 13, 2009 Posted by | Books, Colonial America, History, Relationships | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Puritans, King, And This Blogger Agree—Evil Is An Active Force In Life

In his Albion’s Seed–Four British Folkways In America, author David Hackett Fischer writes about five major Puritan doctrines and ideas that were brought to Massachusetts from England in the 17th century.

(Here is information about Puritanism in New England.)

These five were depravity, covenant, election, grace and love.

Here is what Mr. Hackett writes about the idea of “depravity”—

“…depravity…to Calvinists meant the total corruption of “natural man” as a consequence of Adam’s original sin. The Puritans believed that evil was a palpable presence in the world, and that the universe was a a scene of cosmic struggle between darkness and light. They lived in an age of atrocities without equal until the twentieth century. But no evil ever surprised them or threatened to undermine their faith…. They believed as an article of  faith that there was no horror which mortal man was incapable of committing. The dark thread of this doctrine ran through the fabric of New England’s culture for many generations. ”

While I’m not religious, I do suscribe to some of these ideas about so-called depravity. Life is often a battle between good and evil. And there is nothing so horrible that it can’t happen.

Maybe I find agreement because on one side of the family I’m descended from Puritans off the boat in 17th- century Massachusetts. Or maybe it is because I’m an ideologue and can relate to fanatics. Or it could just be that I have lived in our world and these are the conclusions I’ve reached.

Evil is not just about brutal acts in foreign nations. Evil is a relevant term for our leaders lying to get us to declare war on nations that pose no threat to our security. Evil is a relevant term for the willful mismanagement of our economy for the benefit of the few at the expense of the many.      

Martin Luther King saw evil as an active force in the universe. Here is what he said in his great sermon “Unfulfilled Dreams”  

“….. you must face the fact that there is a tension at the heart of the universe between good and evil. It’s there: a tension at the heart of the universe between good and evil. Hinduism refers to this as a struggle between illusion and reality. Platonic philosophy used to refer to it as a tension between body and soul. Zoroastrianism, a religion of old, used to refer to it as a tension between the god of light and the god of darkness. Traditional Judaism and Christianity refer to it as a tension between God and Satan. Whatever you call it, there is a struggle in the universe between good and evil.”

Like Martin Luther King, I’m hopeful that evil can be challenged and, at times, overcome. It is good that while evil is a fact of our existence, so is the ability to fight back with faith, reason, kindness and hard work.

(Please click here for the best Martin Luther King Reading & Reference List on the web. I’ll be updating it with two new titles early in 2009.)

December 24, 2008 Posted by | Books, Colonial America, History | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment