Citizen Genet Affair

It is the weekend and as a small diversion from the horrific news of the I would like to offer up a little American since there are moves to re-write it….I think it is important to learn it all…the good, the bad and the ugly… let’s step into the ‘way back machine’ to the early days of our republic.

I once taught a class on American Foreign Policy from the beginning to recent history……some say the John Adams and his Sedition Act was our first crisis on the international stage….I disagree.

The new nation of United States of America faced its first foreign policy crisis in 1793 when the US and France were at diplomatic odds….

Edmond Charles Genêt served as French minister to the United States from 1793 to 1794. His activities in that capacity embroiled the United States and France in a diplomatic crisis, as the United States Government attempted to remain neutral in the conflict between Great Britain and Revolutionary France. The controversy was ultimately resolved by Genêt’s recall from his position. As a result of the Citizen Genêt affair, the United States established a set of procedures governing neutrality.

American foreign policy in the 1790s was dominated by the events surrounding the French Revolution. Following the overthrow of the monarchy in 1792, the revolutionary French Government clashed with the monarchies of Spain and Great Britain. French policymakers needed the United States to help defend France’s colonies in the Caribbean – either as a neutral supplier or as a military ally, and so they dispatched Edmond Charles Genêt, an experienced diplomat, as minister to the United States. The French assigned Genêt several additional duties: to obtain advance payments on debts that the U.S. owed to France, to negotiate a commercial treaty between the United States and France, and to implement portions of the 1778 Franco-American treaty which allowed attacks on British merchant shipping using ships based in American ports. Genêt’s attempt to carry out his instructions would bring him into direct conflict with the U.S. Government.

The French Revolution had already reinforced political differences within President George Washington’s Cabinet. The Democratic-Republicans, led by Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, sympathized with the French revolutionaries. The Federalists, led by Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, believed that ties with Great Britain were more important. President Washington attempted to steer a neutral course between these two opposing views. He believed that joining Great Britain or France in war could subject the comparatively weak United States to invasion by foreign armies and have disastrous economic consequences. President Washington issued a proclamation of neutrality on April 22, 1793.

Further reading on this historic issue…..

The early years of our republic are fascinating….so much back and forth…..start and stop for American foreign policy.

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”



Saturday’s News You Can’t Use

The weekend begins and we need a break from the ‘news’ from Ukraine….hence ‘news you can’t use’……

The popularity of the movies and such like “Jackass” baffles me (probably has something to do with me being an old fart)…..but I read about the king of stupid….

The Federal Aviation Administration has launched a probe into a failed stunt in the sky. Cousins Luke Aikins and Andy Farrington, daredevil Red Bull skydivers who’d hoped to swap Cessna single-seat airplanes in midair, didn’t see their feat go as planned on Sunday: One of the pilots made it and landed the aircraft in the Arizona desert, but the other didn’t, sending the second plane crashing to the ground; that pilot still managed to parachute to safety, per NBC News. No one else was injured, but the FAA is steamed, as it had denied the pilots’ request for certain safety exemptions to carry out their Hulu-livestreamed stunt. “The FAA has considered the petition, and finds that granting an exemption … would not be in the public interest,” the agency noted in its Friday denial letter, adding it couldn’t determine “the proposed operation would not adversely affect safety.” Check out the failed attempt. Our original story from Thursday follows:

A pair of cousins with a fondness for both flying airplanes and jumping out of them are about to attempt both in the same flight—while swapping planes midair. The never-before-seen stunt will be attempted Sunday by Luke Aikins, 48, and Andy Farrington, 39, members of the Red Bull Air Force aviation crew. Aikins—who became the first person to jump from 25,000 feet and land safely without a parachute in 2016—says he’s been thinking about the stunt for more than 20 years and is finally ready to make the attempt. “It’s the pinnacle of my career, and my goal is to inspire the world and show that anything is possible,” he says in a statement, per ABC News.

In an event to be live-streamed on Hulu, the pair will take off in separate Cessna 182 single-seat aircraft. Red Bull says three of four seats were stripped from the aircraft to lighten the aircraft and create space. At 14,000 feet, they’ll put those planes in a synchronized nosedive, cut the engines, engage custom airbrakes meant to “hold the planes in a controlled-descent” at 140mph, then exit, per USA Today. After skydiving to the opposite plane, they’ll enter the cockpit through a door “about the width of a household refrigerator,” disengage the airbrakes, restart the engines, and hopefully land safely. It will take all of 40 seconds, according to Red Bull.

You can’t fix stupid!

I read the headline of this article and broke into LOLs……”We need to probe Uranus”…..

Next stop, Uranus? An influential panel of scientists is arguing that a space exploration mission to deeply probe Uranus should be a top priority within the next 10 years.

The latest Planetary Decadal report argues that NASA should focus on sending an interplanetary probe to study the ice giant planet within the next decade. This potential mission, they say, could see an atmospheric probe and orbiter being sent to the seventh planet from the Sun with the hopes of deepening our knowledge of ice giants. 

The decadal survey, which is put together by scientists from the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, is released every 10 years to recommend space exploration projects for the next decade.

We still know relatively little about the internal composition of Uranus compared to most of our other planetary neighbors. It’s currently assumed that the planet has a gaseous hydrogen and helium atmosphere, an icy mantle, and a rocky core in the middle, but finer details are still few and far between.

After all, scientists have only gained a close-up look at Uranus once before when the Voyager-2 probe made a brief flyby in 1986. The spacecraft glided within 81,500 kilometers (50,600 miles) of the planet’s cloud tops, discovering 10 new moons, two new rings, and a strong magnetic field. Other than this brief encounter, Uranus has only been studied from afar using telescopes and such.

Okay I have a sick mind at times…..

The old saying….leave nature the way you found it….pack out your waste….that saying has a new meaning …..

For a long time, the standard protocol for hikers and campers who had to poop in the woods was to bury it in what’s known as a “cat hole,” writes Krista Langlois at Outside. But with more people than ever on the trails, a new sentiment is taking hold: It’s time for people to pack up their waste and bring it out with them. Langlois’ essay rounds up the grisly details. For one thing, those cat holes—six inches deep and 200 feet from water—have never been particularly good about keeping pathogens in human waste from leaching into the soil and spreading from there. But with relatively few people in the woods, they were good enough, even if they were more about getting waste out of sight than anything else.

Things are different now, as the number of people using public lands has “exploded” in the last few decades. Today, unburied waste—aka “surface turds” to those in the know—and discarded toilet paper are all too familiar sights. More and more, parks are suggesting people bring WAG bags (“waste alleviation and gelling” bags) to pack up their waste, and Langlois’ piece details some options. “Honestly, bringing WAG bags on every backcountry excursion and carrying days’ worth of your own poop out of the wilderness on a multiday trip is not appealing,” writes Langlois. “But ultimately, it’s less gross than eating, sleeping, and playing on poop-filled public lands.”

(Read the full piece.)

Remember those images of the Nazis burning books back in the 1930s?

Disgusting right?

Well if one Tennessee GOP lawmaker has his way….it will return….

A Republican lawmaker in Tennessee is taking heat for claiming that he would burn books that had been banned from school libraries. 

The outlandish remark came during an exchange between Democratic state Rep. Ray Clemmons and Republican state Rep. Jerry Sexton, as both lawmakers debated a recently-passed bill that gives a state commission the sole authority to decide which books are appropriate for school libraries. At one point, Clemmons directly asked Sexton what he planned on doing with all the books that would be deemed objectionable. 

“You going to put them in the street? Light them on fire?” he asked. “Where are they going?”

“I don’t have a clue, but I would burn them,” Sexton replied. 

“That’s what I thought,” Clemmons said.

Is he channeling his inner Nazi?


Finally a PSA.

If you live in one of those backward states that are banning books then rejoice there is someone that can help…..

The New York Public Library is pushing back against book bans elsewhere in the country by making banned books available to all—with no New York library card needed. The Books for All initiative will allow readers over 13 anywhere in the country to access four books that have been banned in some jurisdictions for dealing with themes including race and sexuality, NPR reports. The titles, which will be available until the end of May, are Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender, Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi, and perennially banned book The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger.

Hopefully they will expand this service…..

Enjoy your weekend…..Be well… Safe….

“lego ergo scribo”