Monday, October 24, 2016

Book Review: Native American Chiefs and Warriors

Native American Chiefs and Warriors: History Makers by Stuart A Kallen, Lucent Books, San Diego, CA, 1999.
This book tells Native American history from a Native American view point.  In particular it first gives a general overview, with the theme that Native Americans were only protecting their land from encroaching Whites, which is what happened.
This book particularly talks about several chiefs.  First King Phillip.  King Phillip lead King Phillip's War after his father passed away.  There came a point where he couldn't take the encroachment, and poor treatment of the Pilgrims any longer.  They achieved initial success, but eventually they were overwhelmed, and King Phillip killed and his family sold into slavery.
Chief Pontiac was of the Ottawa Tribe, who were known for their trading, especially with the French.  They were active participants int he French and Indian War, and the loss of the French was especially hard.  When the French refused to support the continued conflict Pontiac and his warriors were sunk.  Pontiac was befriended by the English, and this did him in amongst his people.  He was murdered, and there was no one to avenge his death.
Geronimo was the famous Apache warrior, who kept breaking loss from the reservation and continuing his warring.  He first warred the Spanish, then the Mexicans and finally the Americans.
Crazy Horse was the famous Sioux Chief, who followed his dream telling him to know wear a head dress in to battle, nor paint his horse, nor take spoils.  He lead his people to victory at Little Big Horn but was killed being taken into captivity.
Wilma Mankiller was the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation.  She grew up in the San Francisco area during the protest era.  She and her family returned to the reservation after the death of her father.  She met with presidents, and was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Chapter Review: Who is Tokyo Rose

Taken from Miracles and Massacres: True and Untold Stories of the Making of America, by Glenn Beck with Kevin Balfe and Hannah Beck, Theshold Editions, New York, 2013.

The interesting thing I learned from this chapter is that Tokyo Rose was not just one person, but five or six women who announced on Radio Tokyo.  The Japanese goal was to discourage the U.S. soldiers; and in some respects this was accomplished.  However there were those on the radio, who hoped their program on the radio would have the opposite effect.  They would tell inside jokes, and talk quickly so the news could not be understood.  A team of POW's was n the radio and recruited Iva Toguri to join them on the radio.  She too wanted to use the radio to promote the Allied was effort rather than discourage.  Iva was Japanese American, born in Los Angeles.  She would not renounce her U.S. citizenship when she became trapped in Japan when the war started.
When the war was over, two reporters searched out Iva as they were looking for Tokyo Rose.  Iva had never heard of Tokyo Rose, but when is was explained to her that it was the name given to all the Japanese women radio broadcaster by the U.S. soldiers, she took credit for being Tokyo Rose.
As a result she was arrested and imprisoned.  However she was eventually released for lack of evidence.  She returned to the United States.
Thomas DeWolfe was a prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney's office.  He had reviewed the case, and new there was no case.  However public outcry was persistent.  This included political pressure.  He was ordered to prosecute, and so Iva found herself in court.  Charles Cousens, one of the two radio broadcaster testified and verified Iva's story.  She had no intent to harm the war effort but just the opposite.  However she was found guilty.
She served six years in prison, and was almost deported.  She did lose her citizenship.  Her husband was deported, and their marriage was ruined.  She had been pardoned by President Gerald Ford in 1977, and her citizenship restored.  Some members of the jury later regretted that they had been persuaded to go with the majority.  Thomas DeWolfe took his own life three years after the verdict.
Iva Toguri

Chapter Review: The My Lai Massacre: A Light in the Darkness

Taken from Miracles and Massacres: True and Untold Stories of the Making of America, by Glenn Beck with Kevin Balfe and Hannah Beck, Theshold Editions, New York, 2013.

This is a very sad day in U.S. military history.  True it was that the orders were to wipe out everyone in the village of My Lai because they were believed to be harboring The Viet Cong Forty Eighth , which would attack, and then melt into the jungle.  Someone must be helping them.  However, in this case intelligence was faulty.  When Charlie Company attacked the village, they did not find Viet Cong, but took to killing the civilians all the same.  Some even raised their hands in surrender, and were easier prey.  Lieutenant William Calley was leading the killing.  With 200 prisoners lined up in front of a trench, a helicopter pilot, Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson, tried to intervene.  However Calley insisted he had his orders.  When the helicopter had taken off, Calley ordered the slaughter.  The continued shooting into the bodies to make sure nothing moved.  A group of Vietnamese holed up in a bunker.  Again they were pursued, but this time Thompson was able to rescue them, he also pulled a living boy from the pile of massacred bodies.
The massacre was covered up.  However the press finally did get a hold of the information.  Captain Medina, who gave the orders got off, having a good lawyer.  Lieutenant Calley was convicted of multiple counts of premeditated murder, but his sentence was commuted by President Nixon.  Hugh Thompson was harassed and threatened with prosecution.  It took thirty years for his bravery to be recognized.  He and his crew received the Soldier's Medal for their actions.
Warrant Officer Hugh THompson

The MIssing 9/11 Terrorist: The Power of Everyday Heroes

Taken from Miracles and Massacres: True and Untold Stories of the Making of America, by Glenn Beck with Kevin Balfe and Hannah Beck, Theshold Editions, New York, 2013.

It may well have been the actions of an Orlando border agent Jose Melendez-Perez, an Army veteran who took protection of the United States seriously.  The individual in question had incomplete documents, and so was interviewed by the agent.  His story did not add up.  He wouldn't say who he was to meet, and how he was getting around with his limited English skills.  He did take the finger prints of Mohammed al Qahtani before denying him entry.  He was given they opportunity to return to Dubai, paying for his ticket back.  Facing this or imprisonment he took the opportunity.
The day of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Flight 93 only had four terrorists on board, not five like the other planes.  Perhaps one less man defending the cock pit after taking over the flight is what allowed the heroes aboard Flight 93 to drive it into the ground instead of the intended target in Washington, D.C.
After the attack on Afghanistan, Qatani was captured in the Tora Bora area.  He was identified from the finger prints.  He had not given his name when captured, but the finger prints gave him away.  Qatani ended up at Guantanamo Bay.
There he was subjected to accepted interrogation procedures, restraint on a swivel chair, deprivation of sleep, loud music, prohibition of praying, threats of rendition to countries who use torture.  After a week the interview began.  He was accused of being the twelfth hijacker.  He was asked the location of Bin Laden.  He was accused of wasted the interrogators time, and asked to give one name.  He gave Abu Ahmed al Kuwaite, who taught him internet.
Some months later, that name came up, Sheik Al Kuwaite.  Invasion of the compound where he was located lead to the killing of Bin Laden.
Small things can bring important results.
Jose Melendez-Perez

Chapter Review: The Sabateurs: In a Time of War, the Laws Are SIlent

Taken from Miracles and Massacres: True and Untold Stories of the Making of America, by Glenn Beck with Kevin Balfe and Hannah Beck, Theshold Editions, New York, 2013.

German trained saboteurs to invade the American coast and cause damage to American infrastructure during WWII.  These were generally men who had lived in America and knew the customs and language.  Some did not know what they were getting into.  George Dasch was one of them.  They really were not good learners, nor good spies.  That didn't seem to matter to the Nazis.  They were given specific targets, bridges, railways and factories.  They were headed to America, dropped off by submarine; two groups, four men to New York, Long Island, the other four to Florida.  A National Guard man came upon them as the landed.  They presented as fisherman, without fishing tackle.  The story didn't add up, when they threatened him, he let them go.  They had been given ample money to stay in rich hotels.  George did not intend to carry out sabotage, nor did Peter Berger.
George called the FBI and asked to speak to Herbert Hoover.  His call was handled as a crank call.  He traveled to Washington D.C. where he called the FBI and was put in contact with Duane Traynor to expose the entire operation.  He was sure he would be a hero.  He could take the money and live well.  However, after taking days to explain his case, George was arrested and imprisoned as a spy.  J. Edgar Hoover took credit for breaking the spy ring. The other men were all gathered.  George faced a military tribunal.  However his lawyer was able to appeal his case, George was an American, and entitled to a fair trial.  His case made its way all the way to the supreme court.  The military argued that in time of was, such laws could be suspended with regards to enemy combatants.  The Supreme Court sided with the government, and the military trials preceded.  Six of the eight spies were executed.  George was sentenced to 30 years in prison, and Peter to life in prison.
However, even though the Supreme Court had announced its ruling, writing a opinion was harder.  It was not based on sound legal precedent.  Four of the justices were now doubting their ruling.  However six men had been executed.  The opinion, written by Chief Justice Harlan Stone was not written well, but they all signed it.  President Truman granted executive immunity to the two men, and they were shipped back to Germany in 1948.
This case was later used as precedent during the Afghanistan conflict for holding American Citizens as enemy combatants.
George John Dasch

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Great American Documents: Privileges and Perogaties Granted to Columbus 1492.

Before 1492, there was no real written language, and so the Native American citizens of America are not represented.  In other words we do not have documents pertaining to the Iroquois Confederation, or other Native American History.  However this document is the first presented.  After having been refused by Portugal, and Spain at least three times, and while he was preparing to present his idea to France, the Royalty of Spain changed their mind, on a premonition that Queen Isabel had based on the confidence Columbus showed.  Consequently the financed his voyage, borrowing fourteen thousand dollars from the royal treasury, and also bestowing upon Columbus and his heirs the title of Don, and also admiralty to govern whatever islands he may find.  This they made known by this document to all their people and royalty so it would remain in effect.  Columbus set sail in April of 1492, for East Indian; however he would find much more.

Great American Documents, The New Book of Knowledge, Grolier Books, Danbery, CN, 1987.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Chapter Review: The Battle of Wounded Knee: Medals of Dishonor

Taken from Miracles and Massacres: True and Untold Stories of the Making of America, by Glenn Beck with Kevin Balfe and Hannah Beck, Theshold Editions, New York, 2013.

Th Massacre at Wounded Knee is common knowledge to most of us.  But the official Army version is much different from what we know happened.  As a result of the Ghost Dance, the federal forces were on heightened alert.  The intended to arrest Sitting Bull.  However he and two of his sons were killed in the arrest attempt.  Six Native American policemen had also been killed.
Under the command of General Nelson Miles, Major Samuel Whiteside was ordered to find Big Foot and his band and escort them back to reservation.  There worries he might join another group and make a large force together.  Big Foot was not with the original negotiating party.  He was ill.  Whiteside insisted he talk with Big Foot, and he was brought in his sick wagon.  They had no intention of fighting and were willing to be accompanied back to the reservation.  Whiteside put up a loose perimeter, however when he was relieved by Colonel James Forsyth he was ordered to encircle the Indians, and disarm them in the morning.
Disarming was the trick.  At first they asked the Native Americans to bring their guns, and they brought a few.  A search of the tepees garnered about that many more.  Then the started a person inspection and were finding even more.  When a young man who was deaf, was having his weapon taken from him by force, it discharged.  There was a second of silence, then Forsyth gave the order to fire.  That they did, mowing down the warriors, as well as women and children.  The let lose with the Hotchkiss guns, Gatling guns, and the devastation was quick.  However, being in a circle, many of their own bullets his comrades on the other side of the circle.
The frozen bodies left in the snow was a testament to the brutality.  However in the investigation, the government exonerated Forsyth and his men.  Miles brought him up on charges, but the inquiry just said he may have camped too close to the Native Americans, allowing for sabotage, but not giving any clear blame.  In fact, just to prove the troops were not at fault, 20 citations were made for action in this battle.  That is more than are generally given after a battle, let alone a massacre.
To finish the rub, a grandson of Big Foot's actual name (rather than the one given by the Americans) is Chief Spotted Elk.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Chapter Review: The Battle of Athens: Repeated Petitions, Repeated Injuries

Taken from Miracles and Massacres: True and Untold Stories of the Making of America, by Glenn Beck with Kevin Balfe and Hannah Beck, Theshold Editions, New York, 2013.

This is a story that you find hard to believe could happen in the United States, however it is a story of conditions right after WWII that faced some of the returning GI's.  Many areas of the country have political bosses, and such was the case here.  Athens, Tennessee was a rural town.  It had the same Sheriff, Paul Cantrell, for many years.  They insisted on counting the ballots in private, and turned out he always won.  This only changed when he took higher office, but then he placed puppets in his place, using the same routine.  Sheri was paid for how many stayed in jail, so the trumped up the numbers by arresting people for nothing, and beating them if they didn't cooperate.  Some of the local citizens, lead by the retuning GI's who had been the victims of these assaults, decided enough was enough.  The easily had triple the votes of the corrupt Sheriff, who had returned to run again because many were displeased with his replacement.  Only through some shenanigans could the Sheriff win.
They brought in men to intimidate the polls, and even shot a Black man.  However the key as to sneak enough ballots away and count them out of sight.  They did this in the jail.
Bill White had warned to state government and the FBI of the situation in Athens before the election.  However there was no response.  When the Sheriff had taken ballots to count in secret,  action was needed.  They confronted the men in the jail, asking for the ballots.  They were greeted with a couple shot gun blasts.  The battle and siege was on.  The people could rearm themselves, and did so by visiting the local stores.  They men in the jail had no such opportunity.  People were wounded on both sides, but no one died.  However eventually the governor or the National Guard would come to rescue the Sheriff.  Something had to be done.  Bill White had brought dynamite.  It wasn't until the third throw that he got one close enough to take the front off the jail.  The ballots would be counted fairly.  The only person tried as a result of this day was the police man who shot another man keeping him from the ballot box.

Chapter Review: Easy Eddie & the Hard Road to Redemption

Taken from Miracles and Massacres: True and Untold Stories of the Making of America, by Glenn Beck with Kevin Balfe and Hannah Beck, Theshold Editions, New York, 2013.

Easy Eddie was a lawyer.  He became the mob lawyer in Chicago, particular the lawyer of AL Capone, because Capone selected him, and he wasn't in a position to say know.  With being the lawyer for the mob came family consequences.  Eddie would lose his family and his kids, except in the case of his son, the younger Eddie, he decided he could make a difference.  The younger Eddie had started mixing with the wrong crowd, missing school, and show signs he was headed for trouble.  Fast die intervened by sending his son to military school.  It actually worked.
Easy Eddie was eventually approached by the government, and he knew they had him.  However they wanted Capone, so made a deal.  Part of the deal was they would get his son an appointment to Naval Academy.  Easy Eddie wasn't sure they could do this, but he knew they could keep him out.  Fast Eddie turned, and was a major witness against Capone when he went to prison.  With that action, he was also a man marked for death.
Easy Eddie

Task Force 11 was on its way to attack Rabaul in the Pacific and were deep in enemy waters when they were discovered by the Japanese.  All the fighters scrambled, and chased the incoming planes, keeping them at bay.  Eddie Jr. and his buddy were the last planes launched.  They were headed skyward when the noticed a group of Japanese bombers, who were approaching the convoy untouched with no one to stop them.  The other fighters had all chased the earlier bombing raids.  Perhaps this was the plan all along.  Eddie's buddy's guns wouldn't fire.  This left only Eddie.  He was a good pilot, and a good shot.  He had to fire in short bursts, but he took the Japanese by surprise his first run, and subsequent runs his aim was very good.  When his guns finally ran out of ammunition, he was prepared to ram the few planes still remaining.  However he didn't have to as other fighters joined the fight, and the planes skedaddled leaving their bombs well short.  Edward Butch saved many lives and important naval vessels that day.
Easy Eddie met his end, a victim of murder as a result of his life of crime and testifying against Capone.  His son however was proclaimed a hero.  He received the first medal of honor awarded to a Navy man in WWII.  He could have gone on a hero's tour and stayed out of the fighting, but he insisted on returning to his men.  He was shot down a few months later.
Some years later, the Chicago airport was named in his honor, and so also named for his father.  O'Hare Airport carries the name of Easy Eddie.
Edward Butch O'Hare

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Chapter Review: Alan Turing: How the Father of the Computer Saved the World for Democracy

from the book Dreamers and Deceivers: True Stories of the Heroes and Villains Who Made America by Glenn Beck with Kevin Balfe, Theshold Editions, New York, 2014.

This is the only individual featured in this book who was not a citizen of the United States.  Alan Turing was a mathematician, and a marathon runner.  It was while running that he thought of the idea of machines being used to solve problems.  The machine he imagined could read instructions, it would scan a tape with numeric code which would tell the machine what to do.  He thought this machine may solve complex mathematical problems.  
And so the beginnings of the computer where hatched.  This idea of a problem solving machine became a necessity during WWII.  The Nazis were using a sophisticated coding machine, enigma it was called.  Only a machine would be able to decipher the code fast enough to have a chance at breaking the Nazi codes.  Turing worked on this through a good part of the war, but finally had developed something which would help them crack the code, by using known words or frequent words.  Turing was especially prominent in the work against the U-Boats.  Who knows how many lives he saved by being able to pinpoint the location of submarines.  His work was part of the strategy to eliminate or reduce the threat from the Nazi U-boats.  
During his time in the deciphering business, he visited America where he again helped with developing the computer, while taking ideas home.  
After the war Turing became known as a homosexual, which was against British law of the time.  He was subject to hormone therapy,and later took his own life via one bite form a cyanide laced apple.  Beck wonders if that may be the reason behind the Apples with one bite missing on all i-phones and Apple computers.

Chapter Review: The CIty of Tomorrow: Walt Disney's Last and Lost Dream

from the book Dreamers and Deceivers: True Stories of the Heroes and Villains Who Made America by Glenn Beck with Kevin Balfe, Theshold Editions, New York, 2014.

Epcot Center was Walt Disney's last and great dream.  Previously he had proved critics wrong when he insisted on creating Disneyland as a different kind of park.  However Epcot was suppose to be much more than a display of technology.  Walt Disney envisioned it as a self enclosed city.  EPCOT, Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow.  Disney had seen suffering in the world, and poverty, and this was his plan to counteract such issues.  He had also seen the riots in Watts, and knew there was a better way.  However Disney's health did not allow him to finish this dream.  He made his older brother, Roy, promise to finish the work.  However Roy could not quite see Walt's dream.  Sure Walt Disney World (Roy insisted on the Walt) opened as a great amusement park, but it never quite was what Walt envisioned, nor did it have the impact Walt had hoped for.  Epcot is an exhibit acknowledging technology, but is only a sad compromise of Walt's original dream, EPCOT.
Roy Disney
Walt Disney

Native American Biography: Book Review: Red Bird SIngs

Red Bird Sings: The Story of Zitkala-Sa, Native American Author, Musician, and Activist, adapted by Gina Capaldi and Q.L. Pearce, illustrations by Gina Capaldi, Carolrhoda Books, Minneapolis, MN, 2011.
The story of Red Bird, born Gertrude Simmons is one of overcoming the odds, and one of fighting for equality.  She was also known as Gertrude Simmons.  At a young age she left her reservation to be educated at a Quaker school, White’s Manual Labor Institute in Wabash, Indiana.  This was common in that day, but it was hard as often students were expected to leave their Native Americanness behind.  Hair was often cut, they were taught a different religion, and were expected to talk in English instead of their native tongue.  This was difficult.  Gertrude Simmons, or Red Bird was left at a place between two worlds, with neither being home.
However in the end, after graduating, she chose to stay to pursue higher education in music.  She was an accomplished violinist and pianist, and had taught music lessons at the institute.  She was an accomplished orator and musician.  She won a state speech contest, even though there were those to intimidate her because she was a “squaw.”  She even recited poetry for President McKinley. 
Despite her accomplishments, when she returned home she discovered things had just gotten worse on the reservation.  She had been teaching at Carlisle Indian School.  When she returned she resigned her post, and began studying music.  She also began writing, telling the stories of herself and her people.  She married Raymond Bonnin, a Yankton-Dakota.  They traveled to Utah and worked with the Ute people.  While there, with William F> Hanson she wrote and staged a Native American opera, the first of its kind.  Many of the Utes took part in the reenactment of the Sioux Sun Dance. 
Red Bird eventually made her way to Washington D.C. where she was active in politics, speaking for and fighting for her people as well as for women’s suffrage.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Chapter Review: The Spy Who Turned to a Pumpkin: Alger Hiss and the Liberal Establishment That Defended a Traitor

from the book Dreamers and Deceivers: True Stories of the Heroes and Villains Who Made America by Glenn Beck with Kevin Balfe, Theshold Editions, New York, 2014.

Alger Hiss was a rising star in the Democrat Party.  He accompanied President Franklin Roosevelt to Malta for Roosevelt's last visit with Churchill and Stalin before the end of WWII.  At this meeting, the Allies basically gave up the Easter European countries to the Soviet Union, including Poland.  Alger Hiss was identified as a spy by Whitaker Chambers.  Hiss had left the State Department, and was no at the Carnegie Foundation.  He approached this information by facing the House Un-American Activities Committee.  He denied ever knowing Chambers.  One of them was lying.  
His challenged Chambers, saying he would sue him if he made his accusations public.  When they were made public, then Chambers turned over to the government evidence of Hiss' spying activities.  Papers that Chambers had matched the typewriter that Hiss kept under his bed.  He was tried and convicted of perjury.  The Democratic controlled justice department did not try him for espionage.  
Hiss maintained his innocence.  In fact after the Soviet bloc fell, a Soviet leader said he had never seen evidence Hiss was a spy.  However he later admitted he only had access to a small percentage of documents. However Hiss became the first person to be restored to the Massachusetts Bar after having been removed.   Later a note about Hiss recruiting another spy was found among Hungarian documents.  Further damning evidence was found by the State Department who apparently forced him out because of his ties with espionage.  The government knew all along about Hiss' spying but chose to look the other way.  

Chapter Review: "Make it Great, John": How Steve Jobs and John Lasseter Changed History at Pixar

from the book Dreamers and Deceivers: True Stories of the Heroes and Villains Who Made America by Glenn Beck with Kevin Balfe, Theshold Editions, New York, 2014.
During the time when Steve Jobs had been forced out at Apple Computer, he purchased from George Lucas a his computer graphics division which had about 100 employees and was named for their computer, Pixar.  John Lasseter was one of the employees there.  Lasseter was the artist, animator among the computer technicians.  He had previously worked for Disney, and been let go because of his ideas about using computers to do animation.  
Before Pixar found it self if cost Jobs millions of dollars; 5 million to purchase it, another immediate investment of 5 million, and over the next couple years another 10 million.  They were bleeding money.  It was unclear how long Jobs could continue.  At a meeting to see how they could save money, Lasseter proposed making a short film, for $300,000.  When money is tight asking for more is not always a good thing.  However Jobs gave Lasseter this one instruction, "Just make it great."
The short he had in mind was called Tin Toy.  It was a precursor to Toy Story.  The short won an Academy Award for animation.  The bigger project followed, However they needed financing, so they invited Disney to oversee the project.  They had evolved the character to Woody and Buzz Lightyear.  However Disney insisted on Woody being cantankerous so they could attract an adult audience.  The movie lost its focus and was not going well.  Tom Hanks, the actor for Woody said, This guy is a real jerk."  Initial previews did not go well.  Disney shut own the project.  However Jobs convinced them to give it another shot, and they rewrote the script.  The movie was on its way.
Jobs did not want to be dependent on Disney in the future.  He made plans for Pixar, a company with successive years of loss, to go public as soon as the movie came out.  And that is what he did, against everyone's better judgement.  Pixar gained financial independence, and went on to make many more movies; A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2, Monster Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles and more.  
Jobs was welcomed back at Apple, and Pixar became a subsidiary of Disney.  The original Pixar Computer is now in the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Book Review: Living Through the Mexican American War

 Living Through the Mexican American War by John DiConsiglio, Heinemann Library, Chicago, Ill., 2012.
This is an interesting read about the Mexican American War.  It was started partly by the United States feelings of manifest destiny, that the country was destined to extend from one ocean to the other.  The final straw was when the United States annexed Texas which had won their independence from Mexico.  Before the war, the U.S. government had secretly attempted to buy land from Mexico.  However Mexican officials would not meet with the U.S. emissary.  Hostilities started in this area, when Mexico challenged and killed U.S. Troops on the northern side of the Rio Grande River.
At the same time, in California the Bear Flag Revolt lead to a removal of Mexican control in northern California.  Colonel John Fremont had been in the area, and quickly took over for the revolters.
However the real war was fought in Mexico.  The United States had to force Mexico to sue for peace, and did this by invading their country.  Although hard fought, the United States generally won all the battles, culminating in a battle for Mexico City itself.  Many of the battle were hard fought.  The U.S. would lose just over 1000 men killed in battle in the war, however ten times that amount would succumb to disease, mostly Yellow Fever.  The U.S. had several generals who lead the war.  First was Zachary Taylor.  However the president didn't like him because he gained popularity and may run against the president for election.  General Winfield Scott lead the troops into Mexico City.   Santa ANa returned form exile to lead the Mexican forces.

Chapter Review: The Muckraker: How a Lost Letter Revealed Upton SInclair's Deception

The Muckraker: How a Lost Letter Revealed Upton Sinclair's Deception, from the book Dreamers and Deceivers: True Stories of the Heroes and Villains Who Made America by Glenn Beck with Kevin Balfe, Theshold Editions, New York, 2014.

Upton Sinclair is best known for writing the book "The Jungle."  However this story is not about that book so much, but a subsequent book Sinclair wrote entitled "Boston."  This book is about two Italian immigrants, Bartolomeo Vanzetti and Nicola Sacco, who were put to death by the electric chair in Massachusetts after they killed two payroll clerks, and stole a parole to help fund their terroristic organization which was fighting against the elite in the Boston area.  Mostly they would set of bombs, but they needed to purchase dynamite to do this.  The two men had alibis, but they were also identified as being the killers.  Sinclair, always for social justice, had a point to make with his book.  He challenged the verdict and the trial feeling it had been unfair.  Besides the men maintained their innocence.  Sinclair however saw some inconsistencies in the men's testimony, and sought out a lawyer who had worked on the case.  Despite the lawyer proclaiming them guilty, that he had trumped up the alibi witnesses, Sinclair still published the book maintaining the trial was unfair.  Many years later a letter about this meeting would come to light which indicated that Sinclair knew the men were guilty.  Sometimes the truth just gets in the way of a good story or cause.
Upton Sinclair

Chapter Review: Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball

This chapter is entitled : He Loved Lucy: The Tragic Genius of Desi Arnaz, the Inventor of the Rerun.  It is from the book Dreamers and Deceivers: True Stories of the Heroes and Villains Who Made America by Glenn Beck with Kevin Balfe, Theshold Editions, New York, 2014.

Desi Arnaz escaped with his family from Cuba when he was a teenage.  The went from having three homes, to having nothing.  His father barely escaped with his life, and slowly arranged for other family members to join them, starting with Desi.  Desi had a dream to never be in that situation again.   And the slowly rebuilt their life.   However when Desi told his father he ws going to pursue msic, playing the bongos and singing, his father resisted.  In the old country this was not good work.  However Desi would prove successful.
When Desi began to pursue movie deals as part of his career, he met Lucille Ball.  When he first met her she had a black eye (make up) and Desi was not impressed.  However that soon changed.  Lucy and Desi were married, and because of the different nature of their personalities, except for their stubbornness, the marriage was not expected to last.  With individual lives in entertainment, which took them different ways, it had a rocky start; especially due to Desi's drinking and womanizing.  However they had hopes of doing a show together, a television show.  Lucy already had a radio show.  However when they pitched it to studios it was rejected.  The said people wouldn't belief they were married.  SO they created their own production company, Desilu Industries, and became the first independent T.V. producers.  They were able to sell their t.v. show, filming in Los Angeles, close to their home.  Desi negotiated that they would maintain the rights to the programs they produced, and thus when they became popular, reruns were born.  DesiLu actually sold the rights for millions of dollars.  They would produce many more programs, including Star Trek and Mission Impossible.  However their marriage would not last.  Desi and Lucy would have two children together, but eventually Desi's drinking and womanizing would take its toll.  However Desi and Lucy continued to love each other, even when Lucy moved on to subsequent versions of her t.v. shows.

Chapter Review: Edison vs. Westinghouse: An Epic Struggle for Power

This chapter is reviewed from Miracles and Massacres: True and Untold Stories of the Making of America by Glenn Beck with Kevin Balfe and Hannah Beck, Threshold Editions, New York, 2013.
The struggle between alternating current and direct current was significant in our country, and determined how the power grid in the United States would go.  Nikola Tesla actually worked for Thomas Edison, and had developed things for him using alternating current.  However Edison was totally committed to direct current, so in the end Tesla left and joined George Westinghouse.  Alternating current had some advantages over direct current.  It could be transported over longer distances without losing as much power.  This made it so the lines used less copper in transmission.  At the time the price of copper was over inflated, which was a hindrance to Edison.
However Edison had developed citywide systems based on direct current.  He wasn't going to give up the power grid without a fight.  He tried to paint alternating current as being dangerous.  It was the spark of Edison which used alternating current for the electric chair.  He contended that many people would die if the grid went to alternating current.  He publicly proclaimed the use of the electric chair.  However when it was used it wasn't quite as effective as believed, as it took several attempts to kill the condemned.  Westinghouse had his opening.  The pinnacle was being able to light the World's Fair Columbian Exposition in New York.  After successfully bidding on this, at a price half that of Edison.  From there Westinghouse won the Niagara Falls contract, using Tesla's advances.
In the end, Edison would lose control of his power company, and would focus on film and mining adventures.  His company became General Electric.  Westinghouse would eventually also lose ownership of his company to bankers, but he continued in other interests as well and controlled many patents.