Quirky Presidents

Quirky Presidents

A look into the lives of some of our past presidents.

Time to celebrate Presidents' Day by pointing out a bunch of quirky presidential moments that, for the most part, have nothing to do with important presidential impacts on history, or significant moments. Here are some facts about past presidents for you to enjoy:

1. Gerald Ford: coolest dad ever

President Ford hosted his daughter Susan’s prom in the White House during his time in office. Goals.

2. George W. Bush was a cheerleader

That’s right, and not just ANY cheerleader, but the HEAD cheerleader his senior year of high school, which prepared him for his cheering career at Yale.

3. JFK was an accidental meth addict

Kennedy’s doctor during his presidency was a man named Dr. Max Jacobson that injected Kennedy and many others with methamphetamines as a new formula to help with pain and boost energy, and unknowingly creating drug addicts. The 2014 novel about this bizarre incidence, “Dr. Feelgood”, postulates that Jacobson’s injections had a considerable impact on history. Modern medicine, am I right?

4. Notorious political rivals, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, both died on July 4th, 1826; 50 years after they both signed the Declaration of Independence

Adams’ last words were actually, "Thomas Jefferson survives", yet, unbeknownst to him, Jefferson had already died several hours earlier. A tragic and poetic moment in history.

5. James K. Polk turned the White House into that town in Footloose

Polk banned alcohol, playing cars, and dancing from the White House during his presidency.

6. James Buchanan made history as the only president to never be married

However, Buchanan was known to have an incredibly close relationship with Alabama Senator William Rufus King, so he may not have been single at all.

7. President Andrew Johnson was really just present-day Tommy Lee Jones traveling back in time

But seriously, the resemblance is undeniable.

8. Chester Arthur owned 80 different pairs of pants

First off, Chester Arthur was indeed a president. Second, in 1885, 80 pairs of pants was a whole lot of pants, and this “extravagant lifestyle” earned him the nickname "Elegant Arthur". Sooo extra.

9. Calvin Coolidge had raccoons as White House pets

Coolidge’s two raccoons were named Reuben and Rebecca, and would often wander around the White House. If this isn’t a red flag, I’m not sure what is.

10. FDR married his cousin

Eleanor Roosevelt didn’t have to change her last name when she married Franklin Roosevelt because they were fifth cousins. Convenient, I guess.

11. Richard Nixon was, among other things, an impressive bowler

It may not be what he is remembered for, but Nixon was so fond of bowling he had a single-lane alley installed in the White House. Way to go Nixon!

12. Ronald Reagan had a personal astrologer

Reagan was known to consult, Joan Quigley, an astrologer (yes, like zodiac signs, not stars), before big events. Again, a little bit of a red flag, but what can we expect from a Sagittarius.

13. Grover Cleveland was an executioner

Yep, before becoming the President of the United States, Grover Cleveland worked as a sheriff and carried out hangman duties, gaining him the nickname “The Buffalo Hangman”. Kind of sounds like a scary dude, also kind of sounds like a total badass.

Happy Presidents' Day!

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Diplomacy and Revolution

Creating A Federation With The Nation’s 19,505 Cities, Towns, and Villages, And Dissolving The 50 States Of The Union; Will Prevent The United States Of America From Balkanizing As Its Empire Declines.

As it has become undeniable under the current administration of Donald Trump, the United States has entered its imperial decline as a global hegemonic force. The economic stability of the US dollar as a global currency is wavering and the military apparatus that spans the globe is starting to grind under its own contradictions as an occupying force. As these contradictions start to buckle under their own weight, the economic collapse and military retraction in the United States hegemony is an undeniable calculation. As this economic collapse occurs, the need to reorient economic priorities will be an imperative. As our global military network and apparatus starts to evolve and retract as an occupying force, it will require a new examination of what it means to provide the security of persons in the 21st-century. These questions will be placed in needed context, as external forces press the rapid advancement of these changes; as well as domestic forces trying to acclimate to this rapid transition. As we saw in the past with the Articles of Confederation in the late 18th century, the priorities of the states and their self interests and loyalty to wealth and power place the Federal Union of the United States under threat of internal instability and external pressures that will lead to an inevitable crisis unseen in the United States since the days of the Civil War. To avoid these destabilizing factors, the wise attempt to reconstruct the Federal structure of the United States must be applied.

To do this, we must recognize that our democracy is rooted in the diplomacy between various republics; forming the federation that established the Union of the United States of America under the pretext of the Constitution. Diplomacy must be re-oriented on the municipal level to deal with the shifts of modern communication and transportation advancement; so as to avoid Balkanization. We must keep in mind that Federalism, a federation, is a structure that offers the means of ensuring a formalized diplomatic structure between communities. The Iroquois Confederacy in which the United States Union was based off of focused on representation via tribes; this localized format must be present in any transitional new system. Coupled with a format of modern technological development, a federation of municipalities is perfectly plausible for the various communities throughout the entire United States thanks to current communication and transportation systems; with evolving transportation and communication systems increasing the feasibility and ease of such a networked systems.

We have (as of 2015 data) 19,505 cities, towns, and villages in the United States. As the American empire declines, the calculation that economic divisions will spark a disunity internally must be avoided at all cost via re-federalizing. It is perfectly plausible to create a federation out of the 19,505 communities using representation of each in a federal congress. We have sports stadiums that can house tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of spectators; it would be perfectly plausible create a federal congress using such scales of construction. It would also ensure management of sub regional, regional, and super-regional networks that are internal mechanisms used for unifying local and federal systems. Not only will this new federal system prevent Balkanization and disunity of the American people, it will also offer the potentiality for economic reconstruction with the emphasis on self sustainability and self-sufficiency for every community. Utilizing social contracts such as a Second Bill of Rights to provide things such as food, water, energy, infrastructure, knowledge, and productive abilities for every community and every individuals. Living up to the motto of the United States E Pluribus Unum: Out of Many, One; as well as ensuring life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness in the 21st-century.

Our present is not the first time that the United States has risked division, as already mentioned the Articles of Confederation brought us to the edge of a complete breakdown of the Union, which was operating as only a mere confederation at the time. The slave master rebellion of 1861 that ignited what became known as the Civil War brought the United States further to the precipice of disunity. But as the Union has shown to withstand not only internal strife and division brought on by economic stratification, we have developed a federal system that has expanded its influence around the globe. As we wise up to the foolishness of attempting to assert hegemony over the peoples of the world; we will start to recognize that the survivability of our own systems will rely on a new unifying effort. One that will require nothing less than the declaration of a new Federation of the Peoples of America; guaranteed under the Declaration of Independence and Constitution that set forth to lay the foundations of the United States today. With the same mentality of transition between the Articles of Confederation to the Federal Constitution, and with the pretext of legal declaration such as the Emancipation Proclamation; we can avoid repeating the same mistakes in the past through federalizing anew. And through a new Federation, finally creating the principles and ideals that we laid out in our past but have yet to live up to in the present; by becoming at true Union of Peoples.

Cover Image Credit: Shutterstock

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The Importance Of Empathy

How just meeting new people can make all the difference in your life

Merriam Webster Dictionary describes “empathy” as, “The action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another.”

During such a time with increasing social, political, and societal divide, a better comprehension of empathy would do wonders to lessen this divide.

Attaining a better sense of empathy allows for one to build upon their perspective and have a better understanding of the people around them. While it may sound too cliche or rudimentary, the best way to build a strong sense of empathy is to explore new things and new people.

In high school I was involved with football, the TV show, the art department, the drama department, the spirit club, etc.. In the fall I attended community college, and now I attend the University of Southern California. I have been able to surround myself with people of different passions, socio-economic backgrounds, and perspectives. All of which makes up a lot of who I am today.

Then while I may have my own preconceived opinions and views, I have fostered some ability to understand the point of views and thought processes of the people around me. Whether it be an privileged high school athlete, or a low-income community college art student, I have been able to interact with people across the spectrum of perspectives.

Surrounding myself with such a variety of people shapes who I am and builds me a stronger sense of self. Then while all these people I have interacted may not be my best friends, nor may I even get along with them all, I at least know where they are coming from and look at them with more than one lens of thought.

From the high school students trying to do something new and build their resume, to the successful college student who just wants to meet some more people outside of their hometown, I cannot stress enough how much getting outside of one’s comfort zone and getting to know people you may have never even spoken to before.

Just by surrounding oneself with a variety of passionate and well-intentioned people, a strong sense of empathy can be fostered. With racial and socio-economic tensions flaring consistently, society would greatly benefit if people just grew better understandings of one another. Once everyone beings to appreciate and value all the different perspectives and point of views that make up this world, a lot could change for the better.

Cover Image Credit: Alexis Brown

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