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Archive for March 14th, 2021

Happy birthday, Maine, and thanks for your help in ridding the US of slavery

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Heather Cox Richardson writes:

By the time most of you will read this it will be March 15, which is too important a day to ignore. As the man who taught me to use a chainsaw said, it is immortalized by Shakespeare’s famous warning: “Cedar! Beware the adze of March!”

He put it that way because the importance of March 15 is, of course, that it is the day in 1820 that Maine, the Pine Tree State, joined the Union.

Maine statehood had national repercussions. The inhabitants of this northern part of Massachusetts had asked for statehood in 1819, but their petition was stopped dead by southerners who refused to permit a free state—one that did not permit slavery—to enter the Union without a corresponding “slave state.” The explosive growth of the northern states had already given free states control of the House of Representatives, but the South held its own in the Senate, where each state got two votes. The admission of Maine would give the North the advantage, and southerners insisted that Maine’s admission be balanced with the admission of a southern slave state, lest those opposed to slavery use their power in the federal government to restrict enslavement in the South.

They demanded the admission of Missouri to counteract Maine’s two “free” Senate votes.

But this “Missouri Compromise” infuriated northerners, especially those who lived in Maine. They swamped Congress with petitions against admitting Missouri as a slave state, resenting that slave owners in the Senate could hold the state of Maine hostage until they got their way. Tempers rose high enough that Thomas Jefferson wrote to Massachusetts—and later Maine—Senator John Holmes that he had for a long time been content with the direction of the country, but that the Missouri question “like a fire bell in the night, awakened and filled me with terror. I considered it at once as the knell of the Union It is hushed indeed for the moment, but this is a reprieve only, not a final sentence.”

Congress passed the Missouri Compromise, but Jefferson was right to see it as nothing more than a reprieve.

The petition drive that had begun as an effort to keep the admission of Maine from being tied to the admission of Missouri continued as a movement to get Congress to whittle away at slavery where it could—by, for example, outlawing slave sales in the nation’s capital—and would become a key point of friction between the North and the South.

There was also another powerful way in which the conditions of the state’s entry into the Union would affect American history. Mainers were angry that their statehood had been tied to the demands of far distant slave owners, and that anger worked its way into the state’s popular culture. The opening of the Erie Canal in 1825 meant that Maine men, who grew up steeped in that anger, could spread west.

And so they did.

In 1837, Elijah P. Lovejoy, who had moved to Alton, Illinois, from Albion, Maine, to begin a newspaper dedicated to the abolition of human enslavement, was murdered by a pro-slavery mob, who threw his printing press into the Mississippi River.

Elijah Lovejoy’s younger brother, Owen, had also moved west from Maine. Owen saw Elijah shot and swore his allegiance to the cause of abolition. “I shall never forsake the cause that has been sprinkled with my brother’s blood,” he declared. He turned to politics, and in 1854, he was elected to the Illinois state legislature. His increasing prominence brought him political friends, including an up-and-coming lawyer who had arrived in Illinois from Kentucky, Abraham Lincoln.

Lovejoy and Lincoln were also friends with another Maine man gone to Illinois. Elihu Washburne had been born in Livermore, Maine, in 1816, when Maine was still part of Massachusetts. He was one of seven brothers, and one by one, his brothers had all left home, most of them to move west. Israel Washburn, Jr., the oldest, stayed in Maine, but Cadwallader moved to Wisconsin, and William Drew would follow, going to Minnesota. (Elihu was the only brother who spelled his last name with an e).

Israel and Elihu were both serving in Congress in 1854 when Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act overturning the Missouri Compromise and permitting the spread of slavery to the West. Furious, Israel called a meeting of 30 congressmen in May to figure out how they could come together to stand against the Slave Power that had commandeered the government to spread the South’s system of human enslavement. They met in the rooms of Representative Edward Dickinson, of Massachusetts– whose talented daughter Emily was already writing poems– and while they came to the meeting from all different political parties, they left with one sole principle: to stop the Slave Power that was turning the government into an oligarchy.

The men scattered for the summer back to their homes across the North, sharing their conviction that a new party must rise to stand against the Slave Power. In the fall, those calling themselves “anti-Nebraska” candidates were sweeping into office— . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

14 March 2021 at 9:31 pm

Hellzapoppin (colorized)

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Written by Leisureguy

14 March 2021 at 4:35 pm

Posted in Jazz, Movies & TV

Hell Hath No Fury Like a Man Rejected

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Jessica Valenti writes in her blog All in Her Head:

Until recently, I didn’t understand why Piers Morgan was so obsessed with Meghan Markle. I knew that the British pundit had a reputation for being bigoted and misogynist, but the particular focus on Markle—the countless nasty tweets, the repeated name-calling on television—was baffling.

But now, it all makes sense: Resurfaced videos show Morgan complaining in multiple interviews that after meeting the then-actress for a drink, she never spoke to him again. “She ghosted me!,” he told one reporter. “She cut me off,” he told another. (In one particularly pathetic interview, he sits in the same pub, at the same table, where he met Markle. “I really liked her,” he says.)

Apparently Markle’s sin of disinterest was reason enough for the television host to berate her publicly over the course of years. He’s called her “shameless,” a “social climber,” and—most recently—said he believed she was lying about being suicidal.

Hell hath no fury like a man rejected.

And while Morgan’s ire towards Markle is unique because it’s been blasted all over the world stage, you certainly don’t have to be a Duchess to suffer the anger of a jilted man.

Whether it’s the guy who follows you for ten blocks because you refuse to “smile,” the bar-dweller who calls you a bitch after you won’t give him your phone number, or the ex-boyfriend who leaves threatening voicemails post-break-up—most women have experienced the unpleasant aftermath of a man who’s been refused.

Anger from rejected men is such a regular part of women’s lives that many of us have strategies to preempt any nastiness: We invent boyfriends, wear fake engagement rings or give out fake phone numbers. We smile and act flattered, are polite when we don’t want to be, and leave relationships saying that it’s all our fault—anything to prevent a potential swell of rage.

Because we know that rejected men are dangerous men. Maybe he’ll release revenge porn after a break-up, or engage in workplace retaliation after denying unwanted advances. Or maybe the worst will happen.

Janese Talton-Jackson, mother to twin girls and a one-year old son, was out at a bar when she turned down a man for a date. He followed her outside and shot her in the chest. Twenty-year old Mollie Tibbets was jogging when a man approached her. She told him to leave her alone, and he stabbed her to death. Even the spate of misogynist mass shootings over the last few years have been perpetrated by men furious that women don’t want them.

That’s what makes rejected men so frightening; women never really know how severe their reaction will be. We do know, however, that the through-line is entitlement.

Men who won’t take ‘no’ as an understandable answer are men who believe they’re owed access to women’s bodies, time and attention.

There’s a reason that Morgan said, “I just think Meghan would be sitting there thinking, ‘I owe that guy one, I really owe that guy one.” It is incomprehensible to Morgan that Markle—who he shared one solitary drink with—owes him absolutely nothing.

It’s also why . . .

Continue reading. There’s more.

Written by Leisureguy

14 March 2021 at 3:20 pm

Opportunity selection algorithm

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James Altucher’s Rule of No, diagrammed:

Written by Leisureguy

14 March 2021 at 12:45 pm

Posted in Business, Daily life

Amount of time it takes a hacker to brute force your password

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You can easily get a long password you can remember by using a phrase or sentence you know with special characters for spaces.

Written by Leisureguy

14 March 2021 at 11:18 am

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