Commonplace
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Publick Occurrences 2.0

January 15, 2009

It’s Jefferson! Run!

Filed under: Founders,Humor,Popular culture,Uncategorized — Benjamin Carp @ 8:00 am

My friend DHM has alerted us to the latest adventures of Dr. McNinja, a former student of the clone of Benjamin Franklin.  The tales are written and drawn by Chris Hastings and inked by Kent Archer (click on the picture below to see the host site).

I think Jefferson just sent little starbursts through the screen.  We’ll stay on top of this developing story….

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December 1, 2008

Technical difficulties

Filed under: Pasley Brothers,Uncategorized — Jeffrey L. Pasley @ 5:14 pm

It should not affect this blog, but some of the links on here to my “pasleybrothers.com” domain are temporarily out of order because of a server move and “upgrade” at my hosting service. Use this temporary link to get my “jeff.pasleybrothers.com” home page and all the other materials should still be accessible from the links there. Everything should be back to normal soon.

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September 2, 2008

The Land of Lincoln, but not colonial history

Filed under: Historic sites,Uncategorized — Jeffrey L. Pasley @ 12:14 am

The St. Louis newspaper reported over the weekend that the state of Illinois is closing three interesting but not very well known French colonial historic sites in “Les Pays des Illinois” along the east side of the Mississippi. Partly this is being done so that no Abraham Lincoln shrine can be left unvisited during Lincoln’s bicentennial next year. French Colonial America has long needed a new agent, especially for the French presence here in the Midwest, but this also strikes me as another case of a modern cultural institution abandoning its duty to make it possible for citizens to discover something they might not have known about, in favor of providing even more about an already popular subject that automatically generates high visitation numbers. (This is related to the phenomenon of public libraries clearing their shelves of world literary classics and non-fiction on relatively obscure topics so as to have more current bestsellers and self-help books on hand, the same ones prominently displayed at the local Target, Barnes & Noble, etc.) Nothing against Honest Abe — far from it — but it is always sad to see Famous Presidents and Their Smallest Doings crowding out other forms of history.

STLtoday – Illinois will close five area historic sites

The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency will close the Cahokia Courthouse in Cahokia, Fort de Chartres near Prairie du Rocher, the Vandalia Statehouse in Vandalia, and Fort Kaskaskia and the Pierre Menard Home, both near Ellis Grove. Those sites are currently open five days a week. Some may open on a limited basis for special events after Oct. 1.

The Cahokia Mounds and Lewis and Clark sites will continue to be open Wednesdays through Sundays, as they have since 2002.

Statewide, 13 historic sites and 11 state parks will be closed to accommodate $1.4 billion in budget cuts made by Gov. Rod Blagojevich after the Legislature passed an unbalanced budget. None of the affected parks are in the Metro East area or Southern Illinois.

Four Abraham Lincoln-related state historic sites — Lincoln’s New Salem near Petersburg and the Lincoln Tomb, Old State Capitol and Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices, all in Springfield — will resume seven-day-per-week schedules next spring, the Historic Preservation Agency has announced. All are currently open five days a week.

Next year is the 200th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth and the expanded hours will be made possible by funding from the Illinois Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.

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August 11, 2008

Life Without Great Powers Not Seeming So Great in Georgia

Filed under: Foreign policy,Uncategorized — Jeffrey L. Pasley @ 3:44 pm

On the way to a ballgame this weekend, listening to an NPR report on the recent Georgian conflict, my friend the Trotskyist commented that the world seemed to be returning to the pre-WWI Great Power system, with empires gobbling up territory at the expense of smaller, weaker states that needed to find a Great Power protector or become one themselves if they expected to survive. Or at least Russia was returning to that model.

I didn’t have a coherent response in the car, but one of today’s New York Times stories on the conflict makes it sound like the Georgians believed they were operating in a Great Power system. How else to explain why the Georgians thought this would be an opportune moment to deal with their own breakaway regions, which were under Russian protection, the kind involving real troops. The Georgians seem to have thought that Shrub’s cheerleading for their fledgling democracy meant they were under our protection in that old-fashioned sense of our being bound to protect them in case of invasion by another Great Power:

All along the road was grief. Old men pushed wheelbarrows loaded with bags or led cows by tethers. They drove tractors and rickety Ladas packed with suitcases and televisions.

As a column of soldiers passed through Gori, a black-robed priest came out of his church and made the sign of the cross again and again.

One soldier, his face a mask of exhaustion, cradled a Kalashnikov.

“We killed as many of them as we could,” he said. “But where are our friends?”

It was the question of the day. As Russian forces massed Sunday on two fronts, Georgians were heading south with whatever they could carry. When they met Western journalists, they all said the same thing: Where is the United States? When is NATO coming?

Since the conflict began, Western leaders have worked frantically to broker a cease-fire. But for Georgians — so boisterously pro-American that Tbilisi, the capital, has a George W. Bush Street — diplomacy fell far short of what they expected.

Of course, as Shrub’s friend Vlad Putin knows, the U.S. has spent the last five years in Iraq demonstrating just how limited our power is on that side of the world, and precluding any further major interventions anywhere, let alone battling Russia on its near-home turf. If this were the pre-WWI system, we might have declared war on Russia immediately and attacked one of her allies somewhere else or sent troops across the Bering Strait (just as in Risk) or used the Navy to cut off the Black Sea or sink Russian ships in the Pacific. Iran would be in big, big trouble. And World War However Many would have been ready to rumble. You have to feel for the Georgians; they are finding out the hardest way possible how little U.S. neo-imperialists can really be trusted.

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May 12, 2008

May is the cruelest month

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jeffrey L. Pasley @ 2:22 pm

. . . at least for me and blogging. Too many papers to grade and year-end events to attend. Back soon!

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April 8, 2008

My Dual Loyalties

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jeffrey L. Pasley @ 8:10 pm

Congratulations, Jayhawks!

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