A growing collection of facts, thoughts and events from a 78-year-old man and his family, friends, and the characters that he has met along the way . . .

These “Happy Gators” were filmed by me on The Anhinga Trail in The Everglades National Park

THE THREE SEXES

thesumofme2

WIKIPEDIA-PLATO'S SYMPOSIUM

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symposium_(Plato)#Aristophanes

One of the biggest issues in the news these days has to do with public restrooms.  It appears that two are no longer enough; now business establishments have to have at least three.  One for men, one for women, and one for transgender people . . . and, just in case you have not heard about it, airports that have over 10,000 passengers per year will now also have to have a “pet potty!”

For some strange reason and shortly after retiring for the night, I woke up thinking about this, and I remembered something that I read a long, long, time ago.  It seems that Aristophanes,  a comic playwright of ancient Athens, believed that there were three (3) sexes.  Since the information that I am referring to took place between about 385 and 370 BC, the three sexes probably all used the same bathroom (if there was one)…

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WIKIPEDIA-PLATO'S SYMPOSIUM

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symposium_(Plato)#Aristophanes

One of the biggest issues in the news these days has to do with public restrooms.  It appears that two are no longer enough; now business establishments have to have at least three.  One for men, one for women, and one for transgender people . . . and, just in case you have not heard about it, airports that have over 10,000 passengers per year will now also have to have a “pet potty!”

For some strange reason and shortly after retiring for the night, I woke up thinking about this, and I remembered something that I read a long, long, time ago.  It seems that Aristophanes,  a comic playwright of ancient Athens, believed that there were three (3) sexes.  Since the information that I am referring to took place between about 385 and 370 BC, the three sexes probably all used the same bathroom (if there was one).  However, I am of the opinion that not too many of you are aware of Aristophanes belief, so I am going to quote below some of the text from his speech regarding this matter.  (You can read the entire story by clicking on the URL that appears under the above picture).

” There were three sexes: the all male, the all female, and the “androgynous,” who was half male, half female…”

**” Zeus thought about blasting them with thunderbolts, but did not want to deprive himself of their devotions and offerings, so he decided to cripple them by chopping them in half, in effect separating the two bodies.”

” Ever since that time, people run around saying they are looking for their other half because they are really trying to recover their primal nature. The women who were separated from women run after their own kind, thus creating lesbians. The men split from other men also run after their own kind and love being embraced by other men (191e). Those that come from original androgynous beings are the men and women that engage in heterosexual love…”

 I think having three bathrooms in a bar or restaurant or grocery store, or any business that caters to the public is OK, and I can certainly see the value of having an indoor pet potty (thus avoiding the need to exit the terminal with your animal so that it can relieve itself – then having to re-enter and go through customs or security again).  What do you think?

**I’m glad we no longer follow Zeus’ practice of “chopping them in half,” however, I do believe that there are people out there today who would like to do that!

MARIJUANA

smoking-marijuana-23886355

I have just finished posting the below article on Facebook, and believe it to be significantly important enough to re-post it here, in my blog, so that I can share it with more readers:

It is almost impossible to ignore the efforts people are taking in this country (U.S.) to legalize Marijuana so I have been giving that subject a lot of thought. While I am 100% in favor of legalizing anything – any medicine,any drug, any food – that will ease a persons pain and help them to live a more comfortable life, as an ex-smoker of tobacco I began to wonder if smoking marijuana might have similar effects on ones lungs – and it does:
“Smoking marijuana clearly damages the human lung. Research shows that smoking marijuana causes chronic bronchitis and marijuana smoke has been shown to injure the cell linings of the large airways, which could explain why smoking marijuana leads to symptoms such as chronic cough, phlegm production, wheeze and acute bronchitis.4,9

Smoking marijuana has also been linked to cases of air pockets in between both lungs and between the lungs and the chest wall, as well as large air bubbles in the lungs among young to middle-aged adults, mostly heavy smokers of marijuana. However, it’s not possible to establish whether these occur more frequently among marijuana smokers than the general population.4

Smoking marijuana can harm more than just the lungs and respiratory system – it can also affect the immune system and the body’s ability to fight disease, especially for those whose immune systems are already weakened from immunosuppressive drugs or diseases, such as HIV infection.4,9

Smoking marijuana hurts the lungs’ first line of defense against infection by killing cells that help remove dust and germs as well as causing more mucus to be formed. In addition, it also suppresses the immune system. These effects could lead to an increased risk of lower respiratory tract infections among marijuana smokers, although there is no clear evidence of such actual infections being more common among marijuana smokers.4,9 However, frequent marijuana-only smokers have more healthcare visits for respiratory conditions compared to nonsmokers.” Consequently, I sincerely believe that the smoking of Marijuana should be restricted just for the relief of real, true, honest-to-goodness, medical issues! If you smoke – or plan to start smoking – Marijuana, please read this entire article:http://www.lung.org/…/smoki…/marijuana-and-lung-health.html…

2015 in review

While I do not intend to spend a lot of time looking backward, I am pleased to be able to post the WordPress 2015 Annual Report for my blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,100 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 18 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

13 POSTCARDS FROM WORLD WAR 1

B1 WW1 CARD 1A TENT INSPECTION ANNISTON AL 12-10-1917

These Thirteen Postcards Survived World War 1

(and so did the two brothers that mailed them home)!

On May 18, 1917, the Selective Service Act was passed. . .and on June 5, 1917, the first WW1 draft registration was enacted.  Three brothers from Atlantic City, New Jersey. reported to the draft board on that same day:

SCULL, ARCHIE DRAFT CARD.jpg

Archie Summervill Scull, Age 29

SCULL, HORACE DRAFT CARD.jpg

Horace Scull, Age 26

SCULL, OSCAR DRAFT CARD.jpg

Oscar Charles Scull, Age 24

Oscar Charles Scull was sent to Camp Dix in Wrightsville, NJ., and assigned to the 112th Headquarters Company, Field Artillery.  He mailed his 1st postcard from there – home to his mother, Mrs. George T. Scull:

Horace Scull was transferred to Camp McClellan in Anniston, Alabama, where he became a soldier with the 117th Engineers Regiment, and he mailed his 1st post card to home to his sister, Reba, from there: (Reba Scull became Mrs. John Fennell (called “Jack” by her brothers.  She eventually became my maternal grandmother):

Before being shipped overseas, Oscar was also transferred to Camp McClellan, and he mailed his 2nd postcard home.  This one was sent to his sister, Reba (then Mrs. John “Jack” Fennell):

After arriving in Europe in November, 1917, Uncle Horace manage to mail  more postcards home; 8 to his sister, Reba (my grandmother), and one to his mother, Eva.

I believe that my Great Uncle Horace Scull’s 117th Engineers Regiment became a part of what was then called the “Rainbow Division,” (and eventually, a part of the American Expeditionary Force) and that his path through WW1 first led him to France where he fought  in the Baccarat Sector, Lorraine, and in the Esperance-Souain Sector, in Champagne.  If this is correct, Company D then fought in the Champagne Marne Sector on July 18, 1918 where 14% of his company’s soldiers were killed or wounded.   He survived that battle,  moving through France, Belgium and Luxembourg with his company which was eventually demobilized in the United States on May 14,1919 (http://militarymuseum.org/Rainbow.html).

On January 7, 1918, My Great Uncle, Horace, mailed a postcard from Neumahr, Germany,  to his mother, Mrs. George T. Scull, stating that he “hoped to be home soon. . .

. . .  but no one had heard from his brother, Oscar, for over 11 months for reasons that later became very obvious.  The 29th Division was first constituted on paper 18 July 1917 in the Army National Guard.[2]:319 The division’s infantry units were the 57th Infantry Brigade, made up of the 113th Infantry Regiment and 114th Infantry Regiment from New Jersey, and the 58th Infantry Brigade, made up of the115th Infantry Regiment from Maryland and 116th Infantry Regiment from Virginia. Its artillery units were Maryland’s 110th Artillery Regiment; Virginia’s 111th Artillery Regiment; and New Jersey’s 112th Artillery Regiment. As the division was composed of men from states that had units that fought for both the North and South during the Civil War, it was nicknamed the “Blue and Gray” division, after the blue uniforms of the Union and the gray uniforms of the Confederate armies during the American Civil War.[3]  The division was actually organized on 25 August 1917 at Camp McClellan, Alabama.[2]:319 

The division departed for France in June 1918 to join the American Expeditionary Force fighting in World War I[4] The division’s advance detachment reached Brest, France on 8 June. In late September, the 29th received orders to join the First United States Army‘s Meuse-Argonne offensive as part of the French XVII Corps. During its 21 days in combat, the 29th Division advanced seven kilometers, captured 2,148 prisoners, and knocked out over 250 machine guns or artillery pieces. Thirty percent of the division became casualties—170 officers and 5,691 enlisted men were killed or wounded.[5] Shortly thereafter the Armistice with Germany was signed, ending hostilities between the Central Powers and the Allied Powers.  (http://www.pbs.org/now/society/vetbenefits.html).

On Valentine’s Day, February 14, 1919, My Great Uncle, Pvt. Oscar Charles Scull, mailed his final postcard home to his sister, Reba:

He mailed this card from Vals-Les-Bains (Ardeche) in Southern France, and it read in part, “hope to be home by Easter…”

He arrived a bit late since his unit did not arrive back into the United States until May, 1919 – but he made it!

IMG_20151208_091504025

Mrs. George (Eva) T. Scull

>The Fennells of English Creek, (La mia Famiglia Italiana, il familiare Fanelli di English Creek)

Reba Scull (Mrs. John Fennell)

IMG_20151208_091426667

Elmer E. Scull

Horace and Oscar Scull were born two years apart.  Each of them lived for 84 years and, ironically, they died two years apart.

Uncle Oscar married a lady by the name of Mae, and they moved into a big house on the SE corner of the Mays Landing-Somers Point Road & English Creek Avenue; the first house on your right after you crossed the English Creek bridge when heading for Ocean City.   Although they lived just a few miles away from the home that I lived in for the 1st 9-1/2 years of my life,  I barely new them.   Uncle Oscar and I shared the same birth date; June 21st.  He died in 1976 at the age of 84.

I know even less about my great Uncle Horace.  In fact, I only remember seeing him one time, and that was at my great aunt Mildred’s funeral on January 1, 1963.  He arrived in the passenger’s seat of a brand new, bright red, Corvette convertible that was driven by a young blonde woman wearing an extremely short mini-skirt (also bright red – and much too short; especially for a funeral), and they were both “drunk as a skunk!”  Uncle Horace passed away in 1974, also at the age of 84.

In case you might be wondering about what happened to the 3rd brother who registered for the draft in Atlantic City on June 5, 1917, Archie Summervill Scull:  My great uncle, Uncle Archie, was already married (his wife was the former *Marion English) and he and his wife had an 11 month old son, Elmer.  Archie, who was a postman in Atlantic City, was deferred from the service because of his age and marital status.  However, he eventually moved to English Creek and became the lay minister of the Asbury United Methodist Church in English Creek, New Jersey (now named Egg Harbor Township, NJ).  During the early years of my life I often road to and from the church on Sundays sitting in the back seat of Uncle Archie’s car since he was also the church chauffer!  My grandmother and grandfather, **John (“Jack” to the Scull brothers) & Reba Scull, lived in English Creek (mailing address then:  RFD#1, Mays Landing, NJ),   Although I do not remember ever meeting Archie’s son, Elmer and my mother were friends and he even assisted her (mom) in the sale of our family home in the late 1970’s.

*Marion English was a descendant of Wolphert Gerretse Van Kouwenhoven and her family history can be traced back to 1702.

**More can be learned about the Fennell Family by watching “The Fennells of English Creek (La Mia Famiglia Italiana;” a video posted on my blog (thesumofme2.wordpress.com).

Although I have searched far and wide, so far I have not been able to located photographs of my Great Uncles, Archie, Horace, & Oscar Scull; nor have I been able to establish contact with descendants of the Scull family now living in the Binghamton – West Springfield, NY area.  If anyone can help complete this task,  please contact me.

NOTE:  While performing research for this document I discovered Elmer Scull’s obituary on line.  He was born in English Creek, NJ., on June 25, 1926 and died in Agawam, NY., 96 years later on December 29, 2012.  He worked at one time as a technician on the Space Program, and he held a distinguished military career as a Naval Commander during WWII and the Korean War.

 

I see people that I know, like, and respect, posting comments on Facebook that strongly recommend that the United States accept President Obama’s suggestion that we import 10,000 Syrian Refugees, although these people now live in Mexico; a country that has done little more than import a few Syrian students, and whose residents flee across the border 24/7 to the United States.  I have tried, and fail to understand their reasoning.   When “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” was inscribed on the Statue of Liberty in 1888, the United States consisted of 38 states and 9 territories, with a total population (according to the 1888 American Almanac) of 50,155,393 people (86.7% native born; 13.3% foreign born – with slightly more men than women).   Our last U.S. Census took place in 2010, 122 years later.  Although our total population had dramatically increased (in 2010) to an estimated 308,700,000 at first glance it would appear that although increased, the breakdown of our population was about the same.  Then (in 2010) 49.2% of our population was listed as male, and 50.8% as female; a few more women than men were living in the U.S. in 2010 – and surprisingly, 87.1% were listed as Native Born (VS. 86.7% in 1888) and 12.9% were listed as Foreign Born (VS.13.3% in 1888).  The Foreign Born total does include 22,480 people listed as “Noncitizens” (legal aliens living in the United States).   HOWEVER (and this is what has changed) . . .We now have an estimated 12,000,000 illegal immigrants that are not counted in the Census.    While I have not been able to discover an Federal Program that specifically provides any form of assistance to illegal aliens, they (the illegal aliens) sap billions of dollars annually out of the U.S. economy, often by stealing American identities, obtaining and using fraudulent Social Security Cards, claiming false Tax Refunds, taking jobs away from legal, qualified, American citizens and sending millions of dollars annually to their home countries.  The list goes on and on (http://cis.org/IdentityTheft).

While no one should believe that any Syrian Refugees allowed to immigrate into the United States would take advantage of their acceptance and treat us as the illegal and undocumented aliens already living in this country do, I sincerely believe that we need to resolve our problems with the accommodations of 12,000,000 illegal immigrants before we accept more immigrants into our country.  President Obama’s plan to import 10,000 Syrian refugees would cost U.S. tax payers $130 million per year, according to projections from Heritage Foundation scholar Robert Rector (http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/09/11/report-obamas-plan-to-import-10000-refugees-would-cost-taxpayers-6-5-billion/).

Finally, I strongly believe that we need to know how and where we are going to feed and house and care for 10,000 refugees before we import them into our midst (and, how we can be certain that we are not inviting terrorists – possibly terrorists that are not even Syrians – to move in with them)!

 

 

Before YOU agree that we should accept more immigrants into the United States – from Syria, or from any other country – there are facts that you MUST take into consideration.

FACT ONE:  • In 2014, the official poverty rate (in the U.S.)  was 14.8 percent. There were 46.7 million people in poverty. Neither the poverty rate nor the number of people in poverty were statistically different from the 2013 estimates (Figure 4 and Table 3). • For the fourth consecutive year, the number of people in poverty at the national level was not statistically different from the previous year’s estimates.   The poverty rate in 2014 for children under age 18 was 21.1 percent.  (http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/data/incpovhlth/2014/highlights.html)

NO CHILD SHOULD EVER GO HUNGRY . . .

Hungry-2

Destitute Sisters begging for food

http://helpinghandspantry.org/programs/pantry/

. . .BUT I THINK WE SHOULD FEED OUR OWN CHILDREN FIRST

FACT TWO:  • In January 2014, 578,424 people were homeless on a given night. Most (69 percent) were staying in residential programs for homeless people, and the rest (31 percent) were found in unsheltered locations. • Nearly one-quarter of all homeless people were children under the age of 18 (23 percent or 135,701). Ten percent (or 58,601) were between the ages of 18 and 24, and 66 percent (or 384,122) were 25 years or older. • Homelessness declined by 2 percent (or 13,344 people) between 2013 and 2014 and by 11 percent (or 72,718) since 2007.  (https://www.hudexchange.info/resources/documents/2014-AHAR-Part1.pdf)

http://www.liberalamerica.org/tag/homeless/

Before we attempt to house 10,000 refugees from Syria, or more refugees from any other country, I sincerely believe that we should take care of our own homeless people first.

FACT THREE:

More than 4.4 million people are on the legal immigrant visa waiting list according to the State Department’s annual tally. That is 100,085 more people waiting for legal immigrant visas than at the same time last year. Ninety-eight percent of those waiting have been sponsored by a family member in the United States.

The people on this waiting list have shown that they have a qualifying family relationship or that they have been sponsored by a qualifying employer. The list does not include those who are already in the United States waiting to adjust from a legal temporary status to a green card. The waiting lists are needed because of annual limits on the number of immigrants that can be admitted in certain family and employment categories, and because of caps on the number who can come from each country. Table 1 shows the number of applicants waiting by country, as of November 2014  (http://cis.org/vaughan/waiting-list-legal-immigrant-visas-keeps-growing)

HOW CAN THIS COUNTRY POSSIBLY ACCOMMODATE 10,000 MORE IMMIGRANTS WHEN WE ALREADY HAVE 4.4 MILLION LEGAL IMMIGRANTS WAITING FOR A VISA???

FACT FOUR:  (According to President François Hollande of France, and Governor Abbott of Texas, “A Syrian ‘refugee’ appears to have been part of the Paris terror attack,” likely referring to the Syrian passport that was found near the body of one of the suicide bombers near the Stade de France, the national sports stadium.)”  (http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/paris-terror-attacks/texas-gov-greg-abbott-we-wont-accept-syrian-refugees-after-n464221)

IS IT SAFE to haphazardly accept more immigrants – from any nation – without first performing thorough background checks on each and everyone, and without first knowing where and how we are going to house them, and how we are we going to feed them and care for their medical problems WHEN WE CANNOT EVEN DO THIS WITH THE IMMIGRANTS THAT WE NOW HAVE ON OUR HANDS???

Don’t misunderstand me here.  I am not a bigot,and I am damned proud of my Italian-Jewish heritage.  I just do not believe in creating bigger problems than the ones we already face in this great country of ours on a day-to-day basis!!!

 

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A growing collection of facts, thoughts and events from a 78-year-old man and his family, friends, and the characters that he has met along the way . . .

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