Thursday, July 31, 2014

Milton Friedman (July 31, 1912 – November 16, 2006)

Here's a whole mess of Milton memes, for Milton Friedman's Birthday!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Great Freemasons: William J. Florence (July 26, 1831 – November 19, 1891)

William Jermyn Conlin (July 26, 1831 – November 19, 1891) better known by his stage name William J. Florence, was a US actor, songwriter, and playwright. Florence was one of a select number of Americans to win the ribbon of the French Societe Histoire Dramatique. He was also co-founder with Walter M. Fleming of the Shriners.
(Member of Mount Moriah Lodge, No. 155, Philadelphia; Initiated, Crafted, and Raised October 12, 1853. Zerubbabel Chapter, No. 162, 1854. Pittsburgh Commandery, No. 1, 1854. Brother Brockaway copies the following from the Minutes of Aurora Grata Lodge of Perfection, Brooklyn, New York, of which he was Thrice Potent Master)

Great Freemasons: Charles Henry Hardin (July 15, 1820 – July 29, 1892)

It becomes the American people in each annual round to
commemorate the day of their national birth. The}' owe it
to themselves to assemble in there luxuriant groves and upon
these silvery streams to refreshen the deeds and great inci-
dents of that day and period. They owe it to the soldiers
statesmen and brave spirits, that they celebrate with be-
coming respect and a noble gratitude the era in which they
ndvocated liberal principles, engrafted them into the con-
titutious of the American communities, and pledged theirs
chivalry for their defense, endured toil, suffering and the
winter's storm for their promotion and elevation. They owe
it to that glorious freedom which, centuries before taking
her flight from the shrines of European governments, retired
to the sequestered bowers of these American forests. Strong
emotions, a burning patriotism, a dignified love of noble
deeds, should on this day characterize the American heart.
Every heart should be filled with grateful sentiments, every
mind utter the language of its glowing thoughts, and every
altar erected to justice and law, should be crowned with
garlands of rejoicing and festivity. The great people should
come from their blessed farms and cottage homes -should
gather in from the valley and from the mountains to commemorate the era of their national existence. This day, 67
years ago, there sprang into being, the germ of a mighty constitution and people- That great charter of our liberties-
that great shield, broad and round as the moon, covered with
the thick bases of liberal rights— that proud instrument, the
declaration of American independence, was proclaimed from
the continental congress and went forth to arouse brave
hearts and stir the flames of war; It "was read from the pulpit, and prayers went up for the Divine countenance" — it was
read under the quiet roof, and tender youth and decrepit age,
rubbing up his dusty eye, went forth to the throng of battle-
it "was read at the head of the army, every sword was drawn
in its defense and vows were made to live under the declaration," or fall on the field of blood and of carnage.

By British tyrants it was spurned and despised. Freedom was treated as a vagary of the brain, patriotism and the
endearments of the native soil, as the hypocrisy of faction, as
the murmurs of rebellion. Proclamations went forth that
all were traitors and rebels to a merciful throne, that the
eloquent statesmen and patriot spirits of Americans were to
be conquered or bowed in death. Brazen navies hovered within the headlands and British legions, rattled their
urnioiy upon the hills and marshalled their hosts upon the
plains. But "thi'ice is he armed who hath his quarrel just,"
and young America wrestled with the powers that came to
conquer and to enslave. She triumphed upon land and upon
sea. Upon land a thousand bloody scenes marked the
strength of her courage and the splendor of her arms. Upon
the sea her sails rode before the gules of victory, and the
British lion growled humble submission at the feet of the
American eagles. Eight years of toil and suffering, of woe
and anguish. Eight years of dark, blood}' and angry revolution, rent in twain the colonies and the mother country, leaving the sweet waters, green pastures and fair cities of the
western shore to be enjoyed by the sons and daughters of
freedom and liberal laws.

When peace was restored, when chaos, ruin and revolution assumed the elements of order and subordination, the
colonies found themselves in a weak, shattered state.
Drained of blood, exhausted in treasure, they began to fit up
the affairs of civil polity, of law, of constitution. Experience soon taught the lesson that the Old Confederation was
inadequate to fulfill the design intended. It was too frail an
arch to uphold a score of young and powerful sovereign
states, that would evidently, sooner or later, wield an influence, moral and political, tantamount to that of the most
splendid principalities and powers. It was a covenant that
was not sufficiently binding upon the contracting parties, as
either to hold them in awe of national omnipotence, or of
teaching a reverence for the functions of the supreme political government. Fears of external force and oppression had
driven them into the ties of sisterhood, yet in the bowers of
peace and amid the charms of quiet, political bickerings and
heart-burnings, injuries and the supposed invasions of rights,
might induce them to blow the coals of strife and corrupt
the virtues that triumphed over British courage and Hessian
butchering. Lest these Confederated States might split upon
the same rock — might live over the same mournful tale of
woe with ancient confederacies and modern leagues, it was
determined that out of the Old Confederation there should be
hewn a more noble and stupendous framework— an organization constructed out of the liberal principles of past and
present governments, but softened, blended and diluted with
the glowing features of this age and of the reformation. In
view of this, the constancy, ability and wisdom of the land
assembled in 1787 at Philadelphia and after six months of
toil and patience, of agony of mind and body, the American
Constitution was uttered to the world. The people of the
several States, assembling in conventions and adopting it as
that by which the American States were willing to be governed, organized under it and became once more sisters and
members in the same great Republic, and formed according to
the letter and spirit of that instrument, a "more perfect
union." Under these auspices did the political sun of Freedom's land gain the ascendant of the eastern heaven, threw
cheering influences around the homes of sorrow and lamentation, and flooded forth more glowing light upon the frame and
policy of States and Government, Under the guiding star of
Washington and his vigorous cabinet, the United States
began their career of prosperity, of utility, of glory and of
greatness. He who had proven himself a "storm in war, now
shone a sunbeam in council."' This administration readily
proposed leading measures of policy, of liberal law, of national amity, and as promptly pressed them into practice.
Treaties and leagues of friendship were entered into with the
prominent powers of the earth — commerce, with its thousand
sail, skimmed the waters of every sea — golden harvests filled
the granaries of the Atlantic shore, and the din of husbandry
sounded from the valleys of the West. Our country still
prospered and strengthened. Other administrations succeeded that of Washington. The thirteen stars of the Old
Confederation rose higher and shone more brightly from the
political empj-rean, whilst newly created constellations, peering from the low horizon, came and stood with their sisters in
the beautiful blue home of their glory. Each annual round
put our country further forward on the road to honor, to
felicity, to intellectual and political splendor. Still new
States came into and added strength to the union. Westward
as a swelling sea, streams of civilization rolled upon the hills
and upon the lowlands. And at this day, in one age from the
publication of the Declaration, our country is broad as an
empire, strong as a bolstered mountain, and with the glowing
brilliancy of setting suns, pours streams of light and truth
upon the globe.

But though we may all be ever ready to sound the praise
of our land, yet still we are dispassionate enough to observe
that it is and has for a time been laboring under checks and
adversities. The sad experience of the last ten years has
taught us that this beautiful sisterhood of states is subject to
all the ailings, imprudence and untoward measures of any
other political fabric. Americans had grown vain of their
government, thought it free of the frailties of human institutions and never dreamed that the unpalateable tales of the
slumbering nations might be traced in its history. Thiey were
blinded amid the glare of prosperity. "Even the humblest
were degraded into the vices and follies of kings. They lost
all measures between means and ends, and their headlong desires became their politics and morals." The cool ballast of
reason gave way before the meltings of pride — the magnitude
of enterprise swelled beyond the power that controlled— the
crude theoretics of politicians were substituted for the
weighty measures of statesmen. And such a course of policy
has for the past few years, paralyzed the national energy,
devastated the means of both civil and political action, tarnished honor and credit before every State in Europe, and "giving immense power to aristocratical opinions, to the enemies of free institutions." (Rev. Sidney Smith.)

The ecclesiastical world is even stained and checkered
with all the hues and colors that man could soften, dilute or
blend. Yet there are still in daily erection stately institutions, magnificent temples dedicated to the virtues— to all the
moral and religious affections and purposes. There are
the purest streams of sympathy, of charity, of philanthropy,
of religion, flowing over the broad land and forcing their out-
lets in the heathen lands of the Sandwich Isles, of Africa, or
of the cold North. And in all the communities there are
holy divines, pious pastors, eloquent Christian teachers,
chastening humanity and satisfying earth with the morals
of heaven. In America religious instructions is more universal than in all other climes.

Another feature in the aspect of our day is that of a corrupt state of morals. Perhaps our country never before witnessed as at present such a want of confidence, of veracity —
never before recorded such a host of violations of pledges, of
contract, of covenant, either in the natural person, in the representative, in corporations, or in State — never before witnessed such schemes of villiany, such a list of felonies and
misdemeanors. For this land of justice, of honor, of law,
these are lamentable facts and startling circumstances. They
have been enacted not only in one community", but in every
circle of our great country. Nor have they been performed
by madmen alone, but by tender youth, by the private man,
by men of rank and wealth, who have long lived in confidence
and reputation. They are sad evidences of the declining
state of our morals. And if it is, as it is said, that the citadel
of our glory and our liberty is erected on the rock of virtue
it doth behoove the guardian spirits of our country to
shield it from the decaying influences of vice, of treachery
and violated faith, But they should not alone be of the few,
but the whole people should make up the guardian spirits. The influence of the few, though great and good-will ever be
drowned by a countertide of the many. Cicero and his
friends in patriotism could not alone preserve their Rome
against bad morals and the thousand handmaids of vice who
ran riot and fed upon the vitals of both individual and national existences. Insubordination, treason, felony and base
ambition deadened the moral stamina of the people and
reaching the army, dismantled the walls of the empire of
their strength and durability- Then chaos, ruin and consternation mingled their elements. And the sun that shone
upon Rome's early liberty, fair as light and pure as mountain
air, set behind the waves of a sea of blood that rolled from
the springs of ignorance and corrupt morals. So throughout
the nations a like sequence follows a like cause. The products of mind are infamous if mind is sown with the seeds of
infamy. And virtue, even to be stable, should never be
touched with corrodings of vice. And if our country is to
stand a dazzling light for the globe, an example to nations, a
model to constitutions, it must and should ever be virtuous.
Good morals should characterize every circle and class, every
craft and profession, should characterize every person, high
or low, rich or poor, from the executive personage through
all the departments of State, through all private life, through
every sub- order and grade of citizenship. Good morals must
and ought to be the choicest flower in the national diadem.
Then our land would be truly blest, worthy alone of its people and of those who nestled upon the bosom of the storm,
gave order, structure and brilliancy to the republic and
pointed to coming ages the way to honor, faith and greatness.
A third feature in the affairs of the day is the instability
of politics, or rather the factions, spirit and whimsical minds
of our politicians and statesmen. The same could perhaps
have been said of any age or country, and perhaps justly,
too, of the palmiest days of our young republic. Yet, these
days do seem afflicted with more than their appropriate
deserts. The bad state of the national morality, affecting
the heart, surely plunges the brain of the politician into all
the vertigo of mental derangement, and the man swims loose
from patriotism and steady principle into the great whirl of
political chicanery and popular manoeuvre. The desires and
interests of the nation are made to conform to the dreamy
views of men— principles of government are made to bend to
the will and construction of some wayward mind — necessary
measures are treated as obsolete shams, and then the beautiful, but grand machinery of our government is brought at
odds and ends with itself. Were it innocent error there
would be consolation of soul, but broken pledges, violated
faith, intrigue and political corruption make the lover of
country plead for the freedom and peace of his people.
Would that politics were more stable. Yet, men are sliding
and measures are changeable as the shadows of the fields.
Politicians without firmness and integrity are far more
dangerous than traitors; for whilst they apparently labor for
country, yet for aggrandizement they subserve any purpose,
any measure, any cause, any party; be that subservience
fraught with honesty, with political juggling or with deep
moral corruption. They change on the political stage with
every annual round of the sun, with the statistics of every
popular election, with the current of every presidential mes-
sage. The principles of mid-life are not akin to those of
early manhood and the principles advocated in the evening
of their days are at broad variance with those of any former
period. Politicians without firmness and integrity make
men, not principles* the landmarks of their action. In their
highest aspirations they aim for the mountain heights of
affluence and power rather than tug higher to those golden
temples of honor and enduring fame.

Would there were a greater consistency in the affairs of
State. The times of a Greek Olympiad mark the life and
burial of old principles, and the rise of new mark the change
and varied advocacy of sentiment and opinion, mark entire
revolutions in the views and actions of men and States.
Hence the partj-isms in the national family, hence the
diversity of arguments and contrariety of action, hence the
jarring elements of faction and discord, hence the woes, the
misery, oppressions of our people, hence the jargon, the
wrangling and contentions about measures, laws, and constitution, hence the fears, the distrust, the dispair, foreign and
domestic, with respect to the issue of our national affairs and

Our nation, in order that it may assume a more splendid
station and become the happiest among the powers that be,
must ever adhere to a constant, fixed and wise policy. Its
ministers, officers and servants must ever be beyond the pale
of petty politics and the tamperings of unsteady politicians.
They must not swerve from high duties because of the influences of friends, must never be moved by the persuasions
of party, nor yield to the popularity of measures new and untried. Such patriotism, magnanimity and fixidity of purpose
would ennoble party contentions and zeal, would lift the acts
and policy of civil ministers and officers above the dust and
vulgarism of abuse, would make government as it ever should
be, the true representative and honest administrator of the
will, wants and wishes of a great Christian nation.

There is another sign of the times that makes all hearts
tremble. As yet it is a dark cloud, lying low upon the distant horizon, and may heaven avert its ever o'erspreading the
blue but peaceful canopy of our skies. That sign is an offensive intermeddling with other's rights, which policy and government vested in them. The spirits of 76 were, morally,
religiously, civilly and politically impelled to break up the
ties that bound them to their king, and to raise their country
to a station among the nations. So are we by the same magnanimous principles boixnd to maintain our rank and preserve this grand Confederacy of States. Theirs was a most splendid triumph of concession, of compromise, of patriotism,
of intellect. To preserve this union can never require less
concession, less compromise, less patriotism, less intellect —
can never be a less splendid triumph). Then let all the noble
principles of our nature have their sway and influences.
And then, away with the bones of sore and dangerous contention. Let it pass from the hearts of men as the mist from
the hills, and let these States and this people bind stronger
still the ligaments that course tho great body politic, and let
them dispel the moral infections that would gather a deep
gangrene around the vital parts of their existences. If not,
we shall be gone, not even to drivel out the few ages of a
Roman republic or Grecian confederacy. Then this great
day will be but a pleasing remembrance in the great circumstances of time. Its glories will be known but to make
patriots weep over the blasted wreck of the constitution of
Madison and Washington.

Yet while we have observed upon some of the darker
shades, we shall but fulfill our duty in contrasting the
brighter colors of the picture of the present. Though there
are many things to fear, yet everything is to be hoped for
and all may be gained. We are 67 years from the date of
the declaration, 56 from the constitution, and already in this,
the morning of our days, we have surpassed most of the nations and stand proudly abreast with the first. Our country
is acknowledged to be the friend and equal of every people.
Her influence is courted by tribe and by nation. Her light
and knowledge are fast dispelling the moral night that has so
long hung upon heathen and pagan mind. Her commerce is
borne to the stalls and shops of every trading people; in re-
turn vast treasures flow as great rivers into our coffers. And
her citizens, as did the Romans, make the national name a
means of free passport in every sea voyage or extended peregrination. The reputation of her statesmen is borne upon
the winds of every continent, their principles are seeping
into the hearts of monarchies, they are now beinff sown
around the thrones of despotisms. And to use the language
of foreigners (as written by Rev. Sidney Smith) America "is
looked upon as the ark of human happiness and the most
splendid picture of justice and wisdom that the world has yet

At home we are quiet as it could be expected of active
talents and restless passions. The broad bosom of our society is as the bosom of the grand ocean; at one time it is covered with summer waves, at another it is flooded with angry
tides; on one day it lies in a beautiful, but golden repose; on
another storms that would upturn mountains lash deeply the
elements of its being. But the peace of that ocean has yet
ever healed the wounds of its madness. Under the olive of
peace we are passing the dark lines of the American desert
and are fast hastening to the verge of the western wave.
Within these broad limits every avocation, craft and profession that the genuis of Americans can conceive are pursued
with skill, with industry, with honor. All the wants and desires that humanity could imagine may be gratified; all the
luxuries that mind or appetite ever feasted upon may be
served from the elements that compose our soil and our government. With these advantages our nation should be great,
our people should be happy. They are indeed aiming and
advancing to a more delightful state. Their active talents
and bold enterprise are working anew the materials of past
intellect; they are advancing in discovery and in the luxuriant fields of invention and conception. The brightest
page in fie history of the present is the great improvement
in letters and science. Practical science is and has been carried to as high a state of perfection in this as in any other
land. At home we reap daily the rich harvests and splendid
efforts made in its advancing state. And our hearts swell
with pride and exultation when we learn the enviable reputation which our countrymen possess abroad for their profundity in this branch of useful knowlege; when we learn
that they are constructing rail cars for the Russias, erecting
steamboats on the Seine, bearing away the palm in the statuary art in Italy equaling the most splendid specimens of
painting at Westminster, teaching the arts of war to the
wandering Beduoin and drawing maps and charts of the
newly discovered continents and seas of the South Pole.
They are advancing farther. They are ranging the wide uni-
verse of mind and matter and subjecting the whole to their
plastic hand. They are enlarging and improving the beautiful but sublime fields of physics and philosophy, creating
anew their principles, establishing better theories in science
and making more correct classifications in morals and meta-

In the universal diffusion of knowledge our people excel
any other— nay, all the nations united. It is said that 1,400
printing presses are in constant operation within our national
limits, whilst but 1,000 or 1,100 make up the aggregate of
presses in the rest of the world. And there are more in the
city of New York alone than in all the immense population
of Asia. What a commentary on the energy of American
minds, on the mental torpor and darkness that pervade those
of the Asiatics. What a contrast between the institutions of
freedom and those of the land of despotism.

Grecian statesmen, either to be independent of all for-
eign means or to rely more confidently on the knowledge to
be gained, traveled into other states and, returning, more
correctly and generally taught their people the perfection of
foreign letters, goverments and institutions. To our countrymen, either from like reasons, or from magnificence, or
from a zealous pursuit of knowledge, do not confine them-
selves to their own national limits, but have ranged and are
ranging the round globe and living air for materials for com-
position and mental action, Leslie domesticated himself in
England and Ireland for the sake of delineations of their
aristocracy and commonalty; for the purpose of observation
upon the wealth, the magnificence, the moral and political
bearing; the former in contrast with the woes the misery, the
moral, physical and intellectual condition of the latter.
Dwight and others interested and instructed their country-
men with delineations of the scenery and states of the Rhine,
with the geopraphical, social political and religious state of
the laud of the Holy Sepulchre. Wilde quitted the theatre
of the American Congress and sought, as it was thought, a
will-o-the-wisp among the mansions of Northern Italy. He
found on a wall, a hundred times coated over, the long-
sought-for likeness of the great Dante and is now preparing
for the honor of his country a complete work of the writings
with a life of this splendid poet and eminent man of the
modern Italian republics. Prescott burned the midnight oil
over the archives and time-worn manuscripts of old Spanish
libraries ere he consecrated to his country his "History of
Ferdinand and Isabella," which is not surpassed in mastery
of language, beauty of style, range of thought and magnitude
of learning. Irving read from the same musty scrawled
writings with Prescott. His life of Columbus is an honor to
the age, combining all the ornaments and useful requisites
that a reading people could desire. He sought the solitude
of the Alhambra, that monument of Moorish skill and life.
In the brilliancy of his genius he peopled its solitudes and
gave eloquence to its shadows. Stephens and Norman have
but yesterday edified the world with their adventures amid
the wilds of Yucatan. They have laid before it their interpretations of the hyeroglyphics, their surveyings of the
mouldering cities and crumbling temples, and their philosophizings upon the origin and race of the slumbering nations.
These and a thousand other labors in foreign parts have
added and are adding beauty, strength and diversity to our
literature and science. If in no other particular, America
will be great in science and letters; will form an aristocracy
of intellect surpassed by none. (For the sake of brevity
omitted my remarks upon the national judiciary and other

Such are our remarks upon the darker and brighter aspects of this glorious land of liberty. It is remarkable for
the stirring nature of its scenes, for the splendid virtues of
its institutions, for the bold spirit of its people. Let the
sons and daughters of freedom be proud of it. Let them
condemn its vices, love its strong pillars, cherish its institu-
tions, reverence its constitution and it will stand undivided
during the washings of its rivers, during the growth of its
forests. Let them stand as a host for the preservation of
the Union. For there is beauty in a firm sisterhood of
States — in firm sisterhood of States of kindred interests, of
kindred feelings— in a firm sisterhood of States of the same
constitution, language, institutions and laws. And as Sir
William Blackstone said of the British constitution say we
of the glorious heritage of our fathers, esto perpetua — be thou

From "The Life and Writings of Governor Charles Henry Hardin"

Charles Henry Hardin (July 15, 1820 – July 29, 1892) was a politician and governor from Missouri, and one of the eight founders of Beta Theta
Pi fraternity.

(Fulton Lodge 48, Fulton, MO)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Great Freemasons: Benning Wentworth (24 July 1696 – 14 October 1770)

Benning Wentworth (24 July 1696 – 14 October 1770) was the colonial governor of New Hampshire from 1741 to 1766.

(St. John's Lodge 1, Portsmouth, NH)

Dan Inosanto (born July 24, 1936)

I'm not as good as I want to be, but I'm twice as good as you think I am.
Dan Inosanto (born July 24, 1936)

(Art is the new Captain America, Sam Wilson)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Great Freemasons: Karl A. Menninger (July 22, 1893 – July 18, 1990)

Love cures people - both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it.
Karl A. Menninger (July 22, 1893 – July 18, 1990)

Karl Augustus Menninger (July 22, 1893 – July 18, 1990) was an American psychiatrist and a member of the Menninger family of psychiatrists who founded the Menninger Foundation and the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas.

(Regarding his fraternal career, Dr. Karl was initiated as an Entered Apprentice Mason on March 27, 1918, passed to the Degree of Fellowcraft on May 1, 1918, and raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason on June 21, 1918, in Topeka Lodge No. 17)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Philosophy, Science and the God Debate - Alister McGrath, Keith Ward and John Lennox

A very nice discussion with Alister McGrath, Keith Ward, and John Lennox about faith, science, reason, and knowledge:

Great Freemasons: Red Skelton (July 18, 1913 – September 17, 1997)

If by chance some day you're not feeling well and you should remember some silly thing I've said or done and it brings back a smile to your face or a chuckle to your heart, then my purpose as your clown has been fulfilled.
Richard Bernard "Red" Skelton (July 18, 1913 – September 17, 1997)

(Newly made Shriners Roy Rogers, Potentate Harold Lloyd, Red Skelton, and Dick Powell)

Ever the patriot, here is a great video of Brother Skelton explaining the meaning behind the Pledge of Allegiance:

Red Skelton was an American entertainer best known for being a national radio and television comedian between 1937 and 1971. Skelton, who has stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, began his show business career in his teens as a circus clown and continued on vaudeville and Broadway and in films, radio, TV, nightclubs, and casinos, all while he pursued an entirely separate career as an artist.

(Vincennes Lodge No. 1, Vincennes, Indiana, in 1939. He also was a member of both the Scottish and York Rite. He was the recipient of the General Grand Chapter’s Gold Medal for Distinguished Service in the Arts and Sciences.

On September 24, 1969, he received the highest honor in the Scottish Rite when he was coroneted an Inspector General Honorary 33°. He was also a Shriner at the Al Malaikah Shrine Temple in Los Angeles, California).

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Great Freemasons: Elbridge Thomas Gerry (July 17, 1744 – November 23, 1814)

What, sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty. Now, it must be evident, that, under this provision, together with their other powers, Congress could take such measures with respect to a militia, as to make a standing army necessary. Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins.
Elbridge Thomas Gerry (July 17, 1744 – November 23, 1814)

Elbridge Thomas Gerry (July 17, 1744 – November 23, 1814) was an American statesman and diplomat. As a Democratic-Republican he was selected as the fifth Vice President of the United States (1813–1814), serving under James Madison. He is known best for being the namesake of gerrymandering, a process by which electoral districts are drawn with the aim of aiding the party in power, although its initial "g" has softened to /dʒ/ from the hard /ɡ/ of his name.

(It is believed that he was a member of Philanthropic Lodge of Marblehead, MA, but the records of this lodge are missing from the period 1760-78 when he logically would have been initiated.)

What If I Told You....

Great Freemasons: Samuel Holden Parsons (May 14, 1737 – November 17, 1789)

Samuel Holden Parsons (May 14, 1737 – November 17, 1789) was an American lawyer, jurist, general in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, and a pioneer to the Ohio Country. Parsons was described as "Soldier, scholar, judge, one of the strongest arms on which Washington leaned, who first suggested the Continental Congress, from the story of whose life could almost be written the history of the Northern War" by Senator George F. Hoar of Massachusetts.

( St. John's Lodge 2, CT)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Great Freemasons: Manley P. Hall (March 18, 1901 – August 29, 1990)

Great Freemasons: Rev. Josiah Henson (July 15, 1789 - May 15, 1883)

Rev. Josiah Henson
July 15, 1789 - May 15, 1883
After he escaped to Canada on 28 October 1830, it is said he aided more than 600 slaves to freedom.
Widely considered the inspiration for Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriett Beecher Stowe (1811-1896), the Rev. Josiah Henson is buried in the Dresden, Ontario cemetery. On the monument erected to his memory—where "his abused and honoured bones lie"—the square and compasses are engraved in the Fellowcraft position.
There is no mention of freemasonry in either his 1858 or 1877 autobiography, nor in his entry in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography.
In 2003, Wallace McLeod writes: "Apparently he was made a Mason in Boston during one of his visits there. On his return to Canada he joined Mount Moriah Lodge No.11., Dresden (Prince Hall Affiliation), and is listed as its Secretary in 1866."
The confusion about his year of birth originated in his autobiography, published in London in 1877, where he states, "I was born June 15th, 1789".
Member : [Initiation date unknown]
Mount Moriah Lodge No. 11. Dresden, Ontario

Calvin Coolidge

Monday, July 14, 2014

Great Freemasons: Gerald Ford (July 14, 1913 – December 26, 2006)

I have always felt that the real purpose of government is to enhance the lives of people and that a leader can best do that by restraining government in most cases instead of enlarging it at every opportunity.
Gerald Ford (14 July 1913 – 26 December 2006)

Gerald Rudolph "Jerry" Ford, Jr. (born Leslie Lynch King, Jr.; July 14, 1913 – December 26, 2006) was the 38th President of the United States, serving from 1974 to 1977.

Gerald R. Ford was initiated into Freemasonry on September 30, 1949. He later said in 1975:

When I took my obligation as a Master Mason—incidentally, with my three younger brothers—I recalled the value my own father attached to that order. But I had no idea that I would ever be added to the company of the Father of our Country and twelve other members of the order who also served as Presidents of the United States.

Masonic principles—internal, not external—and our order’s vision of duty to country and acceptance of God as a Supreme Being and guiding light have sustained me during my years of Government service. Today especially, the guidelines by which I strive to become an upright man in Masonry give me great personal strength.

Masonic precepts can help America retain our inspiring aspirations while adapting to a new age. It is apparent to me that the Supreme Architect has set out the duties each of us has to perform, and I have trusted in His will with the knowledge that my trust is well-founded….

Entered: Sept. 30, 1949
Malta Lodge No. 465 in Grand Rapids, Michigan
Passed: May 18, 1951
Raised: May 18, 1951
Columbia Lodge No. 3, District of Columbia, conferred the degrees of Fellowcraft and Master Mason on Brother Ford as a courtesy to Malta Lodge on May 18, 1951. Brother Ford's adopted father, Gerald R. Sr., a 33rd degree Mason presented the lambskin apron.
Br. Ford received the Scottish Rite degrees in the Valley of Grand Rapids in 1957 and created a Sovereign Grand Inspector General Honorary 33rd degrees, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, in 1962. (This is the highest honor that can come to an honorary member of the Northern Supreme Council of the A.A.S.R.)
Joined Saladin Shrine Temple, A.A.O.N.M.A.S. in 1959.
Member of Court No. 11, Royal Order of Jesters.
Honorary Member, DeMolay Legion of Honor.
Br. Ford's first services to Freemasonry came when he was selected for the Eastern Team in the Shriner's East West Crippled Children game at San Francisco, January 1, 1935.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

Great Freemasons: José Rizal (June 19 1861 – December 30 1896)

I believe in revelation, but not in revelation which each religion claims to possess... but in the living revelation which surrounds us on every side — mighty, eternal, unceasing, incorruptible, clear, distinct, universal as is the being from whom it proceeds, in that revelation which speaks to us and penetrates us from the moment we are born until we die.
José Rizal (June 19 1861 – December 30 1896)Letter to Fr. Pastells (4 April 1893)

José Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda (June 19, 1861 – December 30, 1896) was a Filipino nationalist, novelist, poet, ophthalmologist, journalist, and revolutionary. He is widely considered as one of the greatest heroes of the Philippines. He was the author of Noli Me Tángere, El Filibusterismo, and a number of poems and essays. He was executed on December 30, 1896 by a squad of Filipino soldiers of the Spanish Army.é_Rizal

(Rizal was made a Master Mason on November 15, 1890 at Logia Solidaridad 53 in Madrid, Spain.)

Steven Pinker


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Welcome to Oz, Where the Liberal Democrats are Libertarians!

I am extremely excited to see the Liberal Democratic Party of Australia win one seat in the Senate. Warm congratulations go out to David Leyonhjelm, who made a great and libertarian speech on the floor on July 9th. Check this out:

For more info on the Australian Liberal Democratic Party, here's an article from The Spectator:

h/t Real World Libertarian

RIP Tommy Ramone (January 29, 1949 – July 11, 2014)


The Last Ramone has been called to heaven. Godspeed, Tommy.

Here's some live footage from England, 1977.

Great Freemasons: Arthur M. Hyde (July 12, 1877 – October 17, 1947)

Arthur Mastick Hyde (July 12, 1877 – October 17, 1947) was an American Republican politician, who served as the 35th Governor of Missouri from 1921 to 1925, and as the United States Secretary of Agriculture for President Herbert Hoover from 1929 to 1933.

(Mercer Lodge 35, Princeton, MO)

Evidently, he gave a Masonic address on Liberty to his Scottish Rite Valley of Cincinnati. I am now in search of a printed copy:

The Philosophy of Liberty : an address delivered by Illustrious Arthur M. Hyde at the eighty-seventh annual reunion, Ancient accepted Scottish rite, valley of Cincinnati, April 1, 1939

Monday, July 7, 2014

Great Freemasons: Audie Murphy (20 June 1925 – 28 May 1971)

"Seems to me that if you're afraid or living with some big fear, you're not really living. You're only half alive. I don't care if it’s the boss you're scared of or a lot of people in a room or diving off of a dinky little board, you gotta get rid of it. You owe it to yourself. Makes sort of a zombie out of you being afraid. I mean you want to be free, don't you? And how can you if you are scared? That's prison. Fear's a jailer. Mind now, I'm not a professor on the subject. I just found it out for myself. But that's what I think."
Audie Murphy (20 June 1925 – 28 May 1971)

Audie Leon Murphy (20 June 1925 – 28 May 1971) was one of the most decorated American combat soldiers of World War II, receiving every military combat award for valor available from the U.S. Army, as well as French and Belgian awards for heroism. The 19-year-old Murphy received the Medal of Honor after single-handedly holding off an entire company of Germans for an hour at the Colmar Pocket in France in January 1945, then leading a successful counterattack while wounded and out of ammunition.

(Audie received his first degree in Masonry when he was regularly initiated, February 14, 1955, in North Hollywood [California] Lodge No. 542, Free and Accept Masons of California. He was passed to the Fellowcraft degree on April 4, 1955. On June 27, 1955, he was raised to the degree of a Master Mason. Later, he became a dual member with Heritage Lodge No. 764, North Hollywood, [now Magnolia Park No. 618] on May 14, 1956.

Audie took his degree work in the Scottish Rite Temple in Dallas on November 11-14, 1957, according to records located at the temple. After receiving his 32nd degree, Audie was elected vice president of the Thomas B. Hunter Memorial Class.
Audie became a Shriner [Hella Temple, Dallas] on November 15, 1957. Audie was made a "Master of the Royal Secret" in the Valley of Dallas, Orient of Texas, on November 14, 1965. Audie was also decorated a Knight Commander of the Court of Honor KCCH) on December 11, 1965. Audie affiliated with the Long Beach Scottish Rite Bodies on April 2, 1971. Two weeks previously, on March 19, 1971, Shriner Murphy affiliated with the Al Malaikah Temple in Los Angeles.)

Libertarian Darth Vader

He finds your lack of faith in freedom disturbing.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Great Freemasons: Hurlbut William Smith (June 24, 1865 - December 16, 1951)

Hurlbut William Smith (June 24, 1865 - December 16, 1951)
An organizer of the L. C. Smith & Bros. Typewriter Co. in 1903, of which he was director and member of Executive board; was president, treasurer, and chairman of executive board of L. C. Smith & Corona Typewriters, Inc. b. June 24, 1865 in Centre Lisle, N.Y. Began in the gun manufacturing works of L. C. Smith; was later with Smith Premier Typewriter Co. as treasurer, until 1903.

(Member of Central City Lodge No. 305, Syracuse, N.Y., receiving degrees on Nov. 23, 1897, Feb. 15, March 8, 1898. 32° AASR (NJ) and Shriner. d. Dec. 16, 1951.)

Margaret Mead (December 16, 1901 – November 15, 1978)

Great Freemasons: H. Roe Bartle (June 25, 1901 – May 9, 1974)

There are three Bartles: The Bartle who makes money, the Bartle who gives it away, and the Bartle who works for free.

~Harold Roe Bartle

Harold Roe Bennett Sturdevant Bartle (June 25, 1901 – May 9, 1974) was a businessman, philanthropist, Boy Scout executive, and professional public speaker who served two terms as mayor of Kansas City, Missouri. After Bartle helped lure the Dallas Texans American Football League team to Kansas City in 1962, owner Lamar Hunt renamed the franchise the Kansas City Chiefs after Bartle's nickname, "The Chief."

Selected speeches:

(Member of Lebanon Lodge No. 87 in Kentucky plus the Ararat Shriners of Kansas City, Missouri)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Leonard Cohen (born 21 September 1934)

Great Freemasons: Stuart Symington (June 26, 1901 – December 14, 1988)

There are four categories of voting on the floor of the Senate. The first are those who have been described as ones who can hear the farthest drum before the cry of a single hungry child. Then there is the group who can hear every child, whether he is hungry or not, before they can hear a single drum. Then you have a third group, who say, “Nothing can happen to the almighty dollar, so we will vote for all the children and all the drums.” The time has come when we must have some priorities with respect to the way we are allocating our steadily decreasing resources, else it should be clear to everybody—that the economy of the United States could well be destroyed.
Stuart Symington (June 26, 1901 – December 14, 1988), remarks in the Senate, November 23, 1971.—Congressional Record, vol. 117, p. 2896

William Stuart Symington, Jr. (June 26, 1901 – December 14, 1988) was an American businessman and politician from Missouri. He served as the first Secretary of the Air Force from 1947 to 1950 and was a Democratic United States Senator from Missouri from 1953 to 1976.
(Frank R. Lawrence Lodge 797, Rochester, NY)

Strange Visitor...

Friday, July 4, 2014

Great Freemasons: Masonic Signers of the Declaration of Independence

Masonic Signers of the Declaration of Independence

Confirmed Masonic Membership of the following:
William Ellery, RI
Benjamin Franklin, PA
John Hancock, MA
Joseph Hewes, NC
William Hooper, NC
Robert Treat Paine, MA
Richard Stockton, NJ
George Walton, GA
William Whipple, NH

Others whose membership is rumored or probable, but not proven by records:
Elbridge Gerry, MA
Thomas Jefferson, VA
Richard Henry Lee, VA
Thomas McKean, DE
Robert Morris, PA
Thomas Nelson, Jr., VA
John Penn, NC
Benjamin Rush, PA
Roger Sherman, CT
James Smith, PA
John Witherspoon, NJ

I'm Sorry I Can't Hear You...

Great Freemasons: William Whipple (January 14, 1730 – November 28, 1785)

I am sorry to say that sometimes matters of very small importance waste a good deal of precious time, by the long and repeated speeches and chicanery of gentlemen who will not wholly throw off the lawyer even in Congress.
William Whipple (January 14, 1730 – November 28, 1785)

William Whipple, Jr. (January 14, 1730 – November 28, 1785) was a signatory of the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of New Hampshire.
(St. John's Lodge, Portsmouth NH)

Great Freemasons: George Walton (1749 – February 2, 1804)

George Walton (1749 – February 2, 1804) signed the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of Georgia and also served as the second Chief Executive of that state.

(Solomon's Lodge No. 1, in Savannah GA)

Great Freemasons: Richard Stockton (October 1, 1730 – February 28, 1781)

"The public is generally unthankful, and I never will become a Servant of it, till I am convinced that by neglecting my own affairs I am doing more acceptable Service to God and Man."
Richard Stockton (October 1, 1730 – February 28, 1781)

Richard Stockton (October 1, 1730 – February 28, 1781) was an American lawyer, jurist, legislator, and a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

(Charter Master of St. John's Lodge, Princeton, Massachusetts in 1765)

Great Freemasons: Robert Treat Paine (March 11, 1731 – May 11, 1814)



Written for, and sung at the fourth Anniversary of the Massachusetts
Charitable Fire Society, 1798.

YE sons of Columbia, who bravely have fought,
For those rights, which unstained from your Sires had descended,
May you long taste the blessings your valour has brought,
And your sons reap the soil which their fathers defended.
'Mid the regin of mild Peace,
May your nation increase,
With the glory of Rome, and the wisdom of Greece;
And ne'er shall the sons of Colmbia be slaves,
While the earth bears a plant, or the sea rolls its waves.

In a clime, whose rich vales feed the marts of the world,
Whose shores are unshaken by Europe's commotion,
The trident of Commerce should never be hurled,
To incense the legitimate powers of the ocean.
But should pirates invade,
Though in thunder arrayed,
Let your cannon declare the free charter of trade.
For ne'er shall the sons, &c.

The fame of our arms, of our laws the mild sway,
Had justly ennobled our nation in story,
'Till the dark clouds of faction obscured our young day,
And enveloped the sun of American glory.
But let traitors be told,
Who their country have sold,
And bartered their God for his image in gold,
That ne'er will the sons, &c.

While France her huge limbs bathes recumbent in blood,
And Society's base threats with wide dissolution;
May Peace like the dove, who returned from the flood,
Find an ark of abode in our mild constitution
But though Peace is our aim,
Yet the boon we disclaim,
If bought by our Sov'reignty, Justice or Fame.
For ne'er shall the sons, &c.

'Tis the fire of the flint, each American warms;
Let Rome's haughty victors beware of collision,
Let them bring all the vassals of Europe in arms,
We're a world by ourselves, and disdain a division.
While with patriot pride,
To our laws we're allied,
No foe can subdue us, no faction divide.
For ne'er shall the sons, &c.

Our mountains are crowned with imperial oak;
Whose roots, like our liberties, ages have nourished;
But lone e'er our nation submits to the yoke,
Not a tree shall be left on the field where it flourished.
Should invasion impend,
Every grove would descend,
From the hill-tops, they shaded, our shores to defend.
For ne'er shall the sons, &c.

Let our patriots destroy Anarch's pestilent worm;
Lest our Liberty's growth should be checked by corrosion;
Then let clouds thicken round us; we heed not the storm;
Our realm fears no shock, but the earth's own explosion.
Foes assail us in vain,
Though their fleets bridge the main,
For our altars and laws with our lives we'll maintain.
For ne'er shall the sons, &c.

Should the Tempest of War overshadow our land,
Its bolts could ne'er rend Freedom's temple asunder;
For, unmoved, at its portal, would Washington stand,
And repulse, with his Breast, the assaults of the thunder!
His sword, from the sleep
Of its scabbard would leap,
And conduct, with its point, ev'ry flash to the deep!
For ne'er shall the sons, &c.

Let Fame to the world sound America's voice;
No intrigues can her sons from their government sever;
Her pride is her Adams; Her laws are his choice,
And shall flourish, till Liberty slumbers for ever.
Then unite heart and hand,
Like Leonidas' band,
And swear to the God of the ocean and land;
That ne'er shall the sons of Columbia be slaves,
While the earth bears a plant, or the sea rolls its waves.
"Adams and Liberty," lyrics by Robert Treat Paine (March 11, 1731 – May 11, 1814)

Robert Treat Paine (March 11, 1731 – May 11, 1814) was a Massachusetts lawyer and politician, best known as a signer of the Declaration of Independence as a representative of Massachusetts. He served as the state's first attorney general, and served as an associate justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the state's highest court.

(Lodge unknown, however there is a record of him attending the Massachusetts Grand Lodge in 1759)