A Student of History

September 26, 2008


Filed under: The past that is still with us — John Maass @ 5:42 am

What would Jefferson do?

Virginia Governor Tim Kaine’s administration forced the resignation of five Virginia State Police Chaplains because they prayed publicly “in Jesus’ name.” The State Police Superintendent created, then enforced, a strict “non-sectarian” prayer policy at all public gatherings, which excluding Christian prayers.  Five chaplains refused to deny Jesus or violate their conscience by watering down their prayers, and had to resign.

My question is:  if the state police has chaplains, what else are they supposed to do but pray in Jesus’ name?  If they are not allowed to do so, why have them at all?

Jefferson argued in favor of religious freedom.  I doubt he would have approved of these firings, but perhaps he would have advocated not having the chaplains at all.

September 24, 2008

Ugly as Sin

Filed under: The world today — John Maass @ 5:30 am

Could this be the ugliest church in America?

It is the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland.  It cost $190-million to build.  Could not that $ have been better used to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, etc?

September 23, 2008

Monocacy Battlefield threatened

Filed under: Early America,Historic Preservation,Wars — John Maass @ 7:00 am

The PATH of least resistance
Originally published September 09, 2008

Recently, Allegheny Power unveiled details of the Potomac-Appalachian Transmission Highline, a large project to reinforce the electrical infrastructure to the eastern U.S.

The project intends to link a substation in Bedington, W.Va., to another in Kemptown using two sets of high-power lines running independently through Frederick County. The project’s filing date by late 2008 makes it no less than a “run-away train.” Decisions on where to locate these two giant-scale lines scarring the county’s landscape and history are being made as you read this piece and will be completed before we have a chance to offer much input.

Understanding this project’s scale and the unavoidable fact that the lines eventually will go into someone’s property, it becomes imperative that the routing process be transparent and in the best interest of future generations. Among the many riches of Frederick County, its proud American Civil War history and its beautiful farming landscapes are unique. In this context, we take this opportunity to voice concerns about a potential segment of the PATH Project in Southern Frederick County.

This segment overbuilds smaller lines traveling over the northern part of Historic Buckeystown before crossing the Monocacy River. In the Urbana district, it traverses Baker Valley and the Hope Hill neighborhood; it follows Park Mills Road until crossing I-270, where it heads south along I-270 to and through the township of Urbana.

Should this segment be used by the PATH Project, an irreparable injury of the region would occur with a price to be paid by this and future generations as we all will stare at a desecrated historic and agricultural landscape dominated by high-power electrical towers.

Amongst the most important historical landmarks impacted by this line segment is the Monocacy Battlefield. The National Park Service, at significant cost to taxpayers (all of us), has purchased land, restored property and created networks of trails over Brooks Hill east of the Worthington Farm.

Brooks Hill is a small range separating the Monocracy River from Baker Valley. Wave after wave of Confederate troops advanced on the side of this hill about 150 years ago after crossing the Monocacy River to attack Union troops positioned between the Worthington and Thomas farms. This same range could now be the site for intrusive high-power towers placed on the adjacent Snow Hill Farm, degrading the view shed and historic value of the park and limiting any potential for future improvement or expansion.

The Snow Hill Farm itself has its own historic value, serving as encampment grounds to Gen. Ricketts’ retreating Union troops. The property is under easement by the Maryland Historic Trust by a grant from the Civil War Preservation Trust calling for the restoration of the property to conditions circa the Battle of the Monocacy (1864) and to protect the rural character of Baker Valley. To allow deployment of such power lines will set a dangerous precedent, diminishing future assurances for protection of any property entrusted to a state or federal agency.

Several properties listed in the Maryland Historic Trust will also be impacted by the project, including the David O. Thomas Farmstead, the Hope Hill Methodist Church, and the two-classroom African-American School, the Hampton School and Hope Hill Cemetery. The cemetery remains a testimony to the segregated nature of the original Hope Hill church by the concentration of African-American family names in the northeast corner of the lot.

AP claims their mission is to keep the electricity flowing. We are troubled to say that in AP’s corporate environment, where decisions are made at levels far removed from the ground, outsourced to out-of-state contractors or guided by time and budget constraints, what we value as our history might register to AP executives as noise.

We urge readers to visit the park and see the wonders of this unique piece of American history and visit the PATH website (www.pathtransmission.com) and voice opposition to attempts to degrade its quality and future. To state and federal officials, custodians of our natural resources and history, we urge them to execute their duties by protecting this unique piece of land and history on behalf of future generations.


Donalda & Camilo Toro write from Frederick.

September 12, 2008

Montpelier redone

Filed under: Early America,Historic Preservation — John Maass @ 9:27 am

I am very excited about the renovation done to Montpelier, James and Dolley Madison’s home in Orange Co., Va.  I saw it twice back in the early 1990s, and look forward to going again to see the changes.  There’s a USA Today story about it here, and I post a photo below.  “Restorers have lopped off two wings, obliterated 14 bathrooms, re-created two staircases and, overall, reduced by more than half the size of Montpelier, President James Madison’s lifelong home here in the lush foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.”


Montpelier, where the fourth U.S. president, James Madison, grew up and retired, has had a five-year, $24 million restoration. A new visitor center displays artifacts found during the project.


Prior to renovations:

September 9, 2008

Meltdown of the feminists

Filed under: The world today — John Maass @ 6:11 pm

Well, it looks like feminism is either eating its young, or choking on it, but either way it is a meltdown.  Hard to think they will ever be taken with a straight face again. 

The issue of course is Sarah Palin.  I love this Foxnews story (and many others like it) about how the femmes don’t know what to do with her.  A woman for VP–yeah!  Oh, but SP isn’t the right kind of chic.  So we get this:

The feminist debate has come full circle. As Sarah Palin barnstorms throughout the country emphasizing her personal story of being Alaska’s governor and the mother of five children, many liberal commentators are asking whether she can balance the rigor of the vice presidency with the demands of parenting.

But I thought women can have it both ways?!?!!?  Or get this:

Sally Quinn, a columnist with The Washington Post, wrote in a recent online column that Palin’s need to care for her special needs son, Trig, and her daughter, Bristol, not to mention her three other children, would “inevitably be an enormous distraction for a new vice president (or president) in a time of global turmoil.”

As if Sally Quinn knows what is best–does she have a pregnant daughter and a Downs baby?

Its bullshit, and all but the femmes know it.  It is called hypocrisy, a disease particularly rampant on the left.

See this also, from the National Review:  “Whether or not Sarah Palin helps John McCain win the election, her greatest work may already be behind her. She’s exposed the feminist con job.  Don’t take my word for it. Feminists have been screaming like stuck pigs 24/7 since Palin was announced as McCain’s running mate.”

September 5, 2008

2 Bucks a Day

Filed under: Simple Living — John Maass @ 2:06 pm

Could you live on $2 a day for one year?  A British woman did.

2 dollar bill by orangejack.

The Telegraph reports that “Kath Kelly was in the middle of bemoaning her money worries on a night out with a group of friends when she came up with the idea of living a more frugal existence to ease her financial troubles. She successfully completed the challenge she set herself, spending 12 months eating at free buffets, shopping at church jumble sales, and visiting supermarkets an hour before closing time to pick up bargains.”

September 4, 2008


Filed under: The world today — John Maass @ 6:08 am

The boyfriend of Bristol Palin, who is also the father of the 17-year old teenager's baby, is going to the Republican National Convention to join the Palin family...... 










Sarah Palin:  “Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned. As Bristol faces the responsibilities of adulthood, she knows she has our unconditional love and support. Bristol and the young man she will marry are going to realize very quickly the difficulties of raising a child, which is why they will have the love and support of our entire family.”

Barry Obama: “I’ve got two daughters. 9 years old and 6 years old. I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.”

An easy choice to make for me…

Bristol Palin, the 17-year-old daughter of  Republican vice ...

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