My Weekly Reader 6 February 2019.

When the War of the American Revolution began, the rebellious colonies had no real army with which to fight it.  The colonists had long relied up militias made up of part-time soldiers.  For the most part, these militias had been dedicated to local defense against Indian attacks.  The militia units from the frontiers had more experience than did the militias from the eastern territories.  They all lacked training, discipline, equipment, and—often—competent officers.

Still, a bunch of them had “seen the elephant” up close.  George Washington had a couple of experiences in the back-country, then had a memorable experience with General Edward Braddock’s catastrophic attempt to capture Fort Duquesne.  Daniel Morgan (1736-1802) had been a teamster—no very exalted position–on that expedition.[1]  Morgan differed greatly from Washington.  He was a poor-boy immigrant from New Jersey to the Shenandoah Valley.  He arrived with nothing but muscle-power, but there was great need of that on the 18th Century frontier.  He began to accumulate property: first a team of horses, then a farm, and later slaves.  Braddock’s expedition offered him his first taste of war.  It left him unimpressed with British military leadership and also deeply bitter toward British rule after he was severely flogged for smacking one of his officers.  Soon, Morgan became an officer in the Virginia militia and experienced at war with the Indians.

Morgan led a company of Virginia riflemen on Benedict Arnold’s expedition through the wilds of Maine to capture Quebec.[2]  The effort failed and many American soldiers were captured, Morgan among them.  He spent a year in British captivity before being paroled.  Upon his release in early 1777, George Washington promoted Morgan to colonel in the Continental Army and told him to raise a regiment of frontier riflemen.  Morgan led the regiment in the campaign that ended with the surrender of General John Burgoyne’s army at Saratoga (1777).  He and his men passed from this triumph to disaster in the Philadelphia campaign and wintered in Valley Forge (1777-1778).  In 1779, fed up with Congress and ts mismanagement of the army, Morgan stormed off in a huff to retirement.

Then Horatio Gates, who had commanded at Saratoga, took charge in the South.  Morgan initially declined the offer of a command.  When Gates led the army to disaster at Camden (1780), however, Morgan returned to service.  The new commander, Nathaniel Greene, put Morgan in command of a small unit.  His mission was to avoid a battle while harassing the British lines of communication.  In January 1781, Morgan disobeyed the order to avoid battle by setting a trap for a British light force under Banastre Tarleton.  The two forces collided at a pasture called the Cowpens in South Carolina on 17 January 1781.  Morgan’s adept handling of his militia led to a brilliant, small-scale victory.  The American victory had a disproportionate effect because Tarleton’s force—virtually annihilated in the fight—included much of the British light infantry.  This hampered Lord Cornwallis going forward in the Southern campaign.  It also set a pattern for a campaign of attrition that would end at Yorktown.

Plagued with ills, Morgan left the army soon after Cowpens.

[1] Don Higginbotham, Daniel Morgan: Revolutionary Rifleman (1961) is still the best biography.

[2] See Kenneth Roberts, Arundel (1936).

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I am running for President in 2020–2.

I’m content to wait on the Meuller Report and on the report of the DoJ’s Inspector General, before deciding whether Donald Trump should be impeached.

I have no doubt that Trump is not fit to be President of the United States.  However, he got elected president.  I haven’t seen any evidence yet that the Russian meddling tipped the balance.  Also, Hillary Rodham Clinton wasn’t fit to be president.  It’s just that she was less unfit than Trump.  Hence my vote in 2016.

George W. Bush wasn’t fit to be president.  Bill Clinton wasn’t fit to be president.  Nor were John F. Kennedy or Jimmy Carter.  Or Ronald Reagan.  Or Barack Obama.  For that matter, neither was FDR, or Harry Truman, or Jerry Ford.  But the last group grew into the job.  Leaves us with Eisenhower, Nixon, and George H. W. Bush.  Three Republican presidents.  Unless you regard Bill Clinton as “one of the lesser Republican presidents, ” as–I think–Mark Shields described him.   I am certainly not fit to be president.  Nevertheless, I want your vote.

That said on the “character” and ethics issues, here are some more of my positions.

First, according to the NYT, two thirds of the revenue lost to the Federal government by the Bush II-Obama tax cuts came from people making less than $250K a year.  We need to recoup these earnings if we are going to tackle the budget deficit and national debt.  For that matter, how can people–including me–be real citizens if we just tell politicians what benefits we want and then tell them to bill somebody else?

Second, the Affordable Care Act (ACA/Obamacare) extended medical insurance to about–I think–16 million Americans.  However, the larger problem–the high cost of American medicine relative to the low quality of outcomes–remained unaddressed.  Here’s the thing.  American doctors make about fifty percent more than do Western European or Japanese doctors with comparable skills.  The first step toward making health care affordable for most Americans must be to reduce the bloated incomes of physicians.  This will mean locking horns with the Americn=an Medical Association.  YIKES!

 

Zion Island 10.

IPNdeM press release, December 1947.  (My translation.)

The Instituto Politechnico Nacional de Mexico announces with great pride that Professor Albert Einstein will hold a visiting fellowship at “el Poli” for Spring Semester 1948.  While Professor Einstein will not be teaching any classes, he will give several public addresses and be available for consultation during his stay.  He will reside at a private home at #45 Avenida Viena in Coyoacan.

Zion Island 9.

Library of Congress/Admiral John A. Waters, Jr., Papers/Director of Security, Atomic Energy Commission/Miscellaneous/Notes to Self.

 

No Date.  Yellow legal pad.  Transcribed from hand-writing.

Who?

Krauts?  Already sharing Congo ore.  RH seems keen on no-pro.

Limeys?  Limited share from Congo.  RAB all about domestic reform.

Russkies?  Not much industry or science.  No air force.  Nuke Chechens?  HA!  What an idea.

Japs?  Big difference between them and US/Ger.  But Japanese China has bunch of Ur.

**Still, Geiger counter ships leaving Seattle/SF/Long Beach.

 

2 containers/30 lbs.  Why so little?  Need X for a “Trinity” bomb.  Need Y for a “Super.”  Need a lot more than that for a program.  + sci/ind infra.

Interrupted by fire engines?  Bolted?

Try again?

 

WEAPON DESIGN.  Or just dump it in Pepacton reservoir.  See what happens?

 

Then, Timms issue.[1]  Vetting.  FitzG—slimey.

 

[1] General(ret.) Thomas Timms, candidate for Commissioner, Atomic Energy Commission.

Zion Island 8.

SECRET.

 

BEGINS.

 

TO: SIC Jeffrey Morton, Salt Lake City, Utah.

 

FROM: Clyde Tolson on behalf of J. Edgar Hoover, Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation.

 

DATE: 17 January 1953.

 

RE: Request for information.

 

Jack ZELIG may be identical with Zelig JACQUES.

INS reports that the latter entered the United States from British Mandate Palestine on a student visa on 1 August 1939 to study at the New School for Social Research in New York City.  He registered for classes, but then disappeared.

SSA reports that a “Jack Zelig” was employed as an Assistant Manager of “The Golden Arm” lounge in Newport, Kentucky from January 1943 to March 1946.  Newport PD reports that the lounge is a popular bar and restaurant with excellent floor shows.  Kentucky SP report that the lounge is a front for large-scale gambling and prostitution, and that the Newport PD is “as crooked as a dog’s hind leg.”

Kentucky SP further report their interest in a traffic incident that occurred near Newport in February 1946.  An automobile was discovered at the bottom of a steep bank, partially submerged in the Licking River.  Two men inside had died of injuries attending the accident.  Both men were “Italian gentlemen” from New Orleans.  A technician discovered black paint mixed in with the green paint on the left side of the wrecked car.

War Department reports that twenty-one men with some variant of that name served in the Army between 1940 and 1950.

Bureau examination of their service records found one Jack Zelig of particular interest.  Born: New York City, 1 August 1914.  Enlisted, March 1946, at St. Louis, Missouri.  After basic training, this Zelig was assigned to the Transportation Corps, where he trained as a truck-driver.  His commander discovered that he already spoke some Russian, so he was sent to the Army Language School, The Presidio, San Francisco.  Worked as a translator and radio observer in the listening post maintained at Fort Rousseau, Sitka, Alaska Territory.  He received a compassionate discharge upon the death of his father in March 1950.

Kentucky SP further report that the truck plate number belongs to a moving van based in Lexington, Kentucky.  Stolen sometime in late December 1952, but not reported until 2 January 1953 because it was replaced with a similar-appearing plate.  The replacement plate, in turn, was stolen off a garbage truck in Covington, Kentucky.  Replaced by a Handicapped Driver plate stolen off a Nash Metropolitan, but no one noticed.

No further information at this time.

 

Zion Island 7.

Extract from The Straits Times (Singapore), 31 March 1951, 6b.

News has just reached us that Dr. Ernst Rudin, chief medical officer on Madagascar and a well-known expert on psychiatry, died in an automobile accident on 7 March.  Dr. Rudin apparently lost control of his vehicle on a mountain road while driving from the capital city of Theresienstadt to the port city of Toamasina.  A private service (closed casket) was held on 9 March 1951.

Zion Island 6.

Sea Cargo Manifest.

General Information.

Vessel Name: S.S. Judith of Bethulia            Date of Departure: 29 August 1953

Nationality: Panamanian                                Date of Arrival: 23 October 1953

Port of Departure: Dar es Salaam                Port of Arrival: Vera Cruz, Mexico

Tanganyika

Name of Master: A. Gentileschi