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The New Version of the Annual 5th of May Show


By very special request, I have sat down to talk about why Cinco de Mayo is the most American Holiday – on one of the most American days – there could be. 

Our story begins with a simple question: Why exactly were the French fighting in Mexico in 1862?

When you understand how we got to that moment, when the French thought that they could use Mexico as a tool for international intrigue, the complicated relationship between the US, our “friends” the French and  our neighbor Mexico one can begin to see that when the 5th of May rolls around, there’s more reason for Americans to celebrate than you might think.

So… let’s take a trip back in time and talk about the 5th of May, 1862…

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Coffee



C-o-f-f-e-e, coffee is not for me,
It’s a drink some people wake up with,
That it makes them nervous is no myth,
Slaves to a coffee cup, they can’t give coffee up.

– German Children’s Song that Dave learned in 5th Grade at Eagleton Elementary

SEGMENT – PNEUMONIA

Celebrating International Podcasting Day is always a great reminder of all the Podcasters doing fantastic work, as well as an opportunity for you…

It was a long week that ended up with a trip to the emergency Room when Ben started having chest pains. Dave had to try to stay calm as his seven year old son was given an EKG. As it turned out, there really was a problem and going to the ER was the right move.

SEGMENT – OH MY G-D THAT MIGHT KILL YOU! GIVE ME MONEY!

Some years ago, the State of California passed the ill-advised Prop 65. The idea here was “to force” companies to stop putting carcinogens into food, drink and other products that Californians use every day. Sound good and noble, right? Public Safety, after all, is the highest calling of local governments. The problem isn’t so much the intentions, it’s the methodology…

 

SEGMENT – 300,000 Yankees

Much ado is made today over the social conditions in the country. But once upon a time, as is so often forgotten, 300,000 Americans died, and countless more (including my great-grandfather) were left wounded and broken, for fighting the very thing of which today many stand accused. There is virtually no acknowledgement of the sacrifice, courage and honor of the Union soldier. This week, a Private who served in the 48th Illinois Volunteer Regiment from 1861 to 1865, was buried with full honors here in Kitsap County. It was a reminder to all generations that there were more men than not, who stood for what was right…

SEGMENT – Father Coughlin

The Government has a long and dark history of silencing opposing views. from the Alien & Sedition Acts of the late 1790’s which cost John Adams his Presidency, to the Lincoln Administrations jailing of copperhead journalists, to the arrests and jailing of anti-war protesters in 1917-18, to the silencing of an offensive and downright evil radio voice in 1942. It really is only is the mid-century that the government has more-or-lived by the principles of the 1st Amendment. That in no way means that it wants to do so…

Never More Divided



Almost daily we are told by some pundit somewhere, that we “have never been more divided.” I think that intellectually we know that isn’t true. But history is past, not always prologue. And without any experiential relationship to it, we find it easy to disconnect from it. We don’t know what happened, except in the broadest of sense, and so it is easy to both ignore its lessons and – like a teenager after a first breakup – believe that nobody could possibly understand what we are going through right now. 

When it comes to the American Civil War of 1861-1865, there are any number of passions, beliefs, arguments, nostalgic wanderings and even warmed over arguments that it’s hard sometimes to keep it all straight. If you want to really start an argument by dropping a grenade into a conversation, just bring up any of the controversial aspects of the Civil War (my personal favorite is, “Could the South have won?”). Then walk over and get your popcorn.

Here we are, one hundred and fifty-two years after the end of the War, and now we have decided that Confederate Monuments need to come down because, hurt feelings. I guess.

Look. I’ll be the second person to say it: Confederate Monuments are the ultimate Participation Trophy. Literally they say “2nd Place, American Civil War.” And while I will also argue that the Confederate States of America was an evil thing in its time, what exactly does tearing down monuments actually accomplish? Supporters of the monuments claim that we can “learn from them.” Fine. Conversely, What is the lesson a person takes away from a statue of Jefferson Davis? 

If education and enlightenment are to be our focus, instead of “feelings” and emotions, when we tear down all of these monuments because, hurt feelings, with what do we replace them? More importantly, when we erase this history, regardless of its stench, what gets reinforced in our corporate minds? That we have never “been more divided?”

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