TDOH: Hamilton and the Army

Note: “Ten Days of Hamilton” is explained here. Today is Day 6. 

As a kid in the Caribbean I wished for a war
I knew that I was poor
I knew that it was the only way to 
Rise up
If they tell my story 
I am either gonna die on the battlefield of glory or
Rise up
I will fight for this land

Hamilton – “Right Hand Man”

As mentioned previously, Alexander Hamilton was born in the Caribbean, far from the fledgling American colonies, though he was tangentially involved in what was going on through his employment with a trading charter. He learned a lot about trade and how the world at the time functioned, but he also had a lot of free time and some very helpful folks that would give him things to read. He filled his free time with reading – and writing – and eventually made it to America and his destiny.

As indicated in the quote above, Hamilton knew that his upbringing would prevent him from attaining the height of society. (He was very prescient in that way). Based on his studies of history, however, he also understood that there were “shortcuts” to the leading class, and that was through the service in the military.* Hamilton arrived in America three years before what would become the Revolutionary War, and began training with a New York volunteer militia company at King’s College (now Columbia University) shortly after the events of Lexington and Concord and in advance of the Declaration of Independence.  Continue reading

Trump Has Been “Treated Unfairly”

Note: I often go on little rants on Twitter when the mood strikes instead of writing things here. As such, I’ve decided to go back and pull the threads and change them into blog posts, if only so this blog doesn’t sit completely fallow between times when I decide to post things. Plus, it will allow me to finish some thoughts that might not have been complete due to character limits on Twitter. Check out the category “Twitter Rants” for all the posts like this. They will be posted on the date that I initially did the thread.

President Trump spoke at the commencement of the Coast Guard Academy today.

This tweet prompted the following mini-thread on Twitter:

 

You can read it there, but I’m going to expand on some of the things I said below in a format that might be a little easier to read: Continue reading

With a New Year…

January is typically a time where everyone makes goals and plans for the upcoming year. I am not immune from this, and most Januarys find me doing the same thing. Last year, I wrote about the four things I wanted to do, which I mostly failed at, though I was mostly happy this year until my father passed away two weeks ago. Two years ago, I highlighted a lot of the previous years’ goals, which tend to repeat from year to year.

This year is no different. I have a lot of the same goals that have followed me from year to year, primarily because I fail at accomplishing goals. Things are a little different this year, because my success means a bit more with a new wife and being back in Utah for the entire year. For the most part, I’ll be sticking with the same goals as last year, though they are changing a little bit. Without further adieu, here are my goals for 2015: Continue reading

Book Review – Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary At War

After about six weeks, I finally finished reading Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War, the memoir of former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. Normally, I would be able to get through a book like this quickly, but the narrative of the story jumped around a bit. Gates decided that the best way to tell the story was around certain themes – the Iraq War, budget fights, jet-setting around the country, etc – instead of simply telling a chronological story. It was a bit hard too follow at times, with situations occurring at multiple times based on the theme of that particular chapter.

For example, he went to many countries multiple times, but things discussed at these meetings could be found at different points in his narrative. “Since this chapter is about butterflies, this was the time I talked to Karzai about butterflies.” – Three chapters later – “Remember that story about Karzai and butterflies? Well, at that same meeting a little later, we talked about unicorns and leprechauns. It probably would have been easy to mention it then because of logical flow, but this chapter is about unicorns so it fits better here.” Continue reading