Almost every respondent wrote that the fact of his being the first black president will loom large in the historical narrative â€” though they disagreed in interesting ways. Many predict that what will last is the symbolism of a nonwhite First Family; others, the antagonism Obamaâ€™s blackness provoked; still others, the way his racial self-consciousness constrained him. A few suggested that we will care a great deal less about his race generations from now â€” just as John F. Kennedyâ€™s Catholicism hardly matters to current students of history. Across the board, Obamacare was recognized as a historic triumph (though one historian predicted that, with its market exchanges, it may in retrospect be seen as illiberal and mark the beginning of the privatization of public health care). A surprising number of respondents argued that his rescue of the economy will be judged more significant than is presently acknowledged, however lackluster the recovery has felt. There was more attention paid to China than isis (Obamaâ€™s foreign policy received the most divergent assessments), and considerable credit was given to the absence of a major war or terrorist attack, along with a more negative assessment of its price â€” the expansion of the security state, drones and all.Â
So I was looking for some information on Keeler, Saskatchewan, where my family is from and I came across this family history of my family. Â My grandfather and I werenâ€™t that close after my dad left in 1982 but I couldnâ€™t help but notice he spelled my name wrong in the family history. Â And if this is accurate, my father is now 62 years old. Â I had no idea.
In case you are interested, this is his old house (and post office), this is the bar I hung out in when I was sixÂ andÂ this is his old garage. Â Also when I was six, I may or may not have held up the general store.
I had my trusty dog Tip, a pop gun, a cowboy hat and what I thought was a reasonable demand that she gave me some ice cream. Â I would have gotten all of the ice cream if I hadnâ€™t fired my toy gun (she thought it was real). Â When nothing appeared to have been shot, she told my grandmother. Â Crime never pays kids. Â Crime never pays.
Interesting trivia note is that I have the till from that General Store in my house today. Â It weighs a ton and everywhere you can grab it has very sharp edges. Â I also think that the book is incorrect as I have memories of Mrs. Garry running the store when I was older than three. Â
Of course as I am reading, it just clicked in that these must be my great grandparents.
Totally unrelated note: A well known lawyer in town has told me that he think the reason that he is in Canada is because his great great grandfather possibly killed one of my ancestors in a drunken fight back in the U.K. Â Even weirder is that we have known each other for years before and he found this out while researching his own familyâ€™s genealogy. Â Its stuff like that gets left out of small town history books.
I guess I am glad that we donâ€™t come from an honour based society where I would have to kill one of his family and so on and so on. Â If I remember correctly, he did buy dinner the night that he told us this so we could be even.
What else did Bobby Kennedy know? Last year, the son and namesake of the late Attorney General Robert Kennedy revealed publicly that his father had considered the Warren Commissionâ€™s final report, which largely ruled out the possibility of a conspiracy in the assassination of John F. Kennedy, to be a â€œshoddy piece of craftsmanship.â€ Robert Jr. said his father suspected that the president had been killed in a conspiracy involving Cuba, the Mafia or even rogue agents of the CIA. Historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr., a close friend of the Kennedy family, would disclose years later that he was told by Robert Kennedy in December 1963, a month after the presidentâ€™s murder, that the former attorney general worried that the assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, was â€œpart of a larger plot, whether organized by Castro or by gangsters.â€ Schlesinger said that in 1966, two years after the Warren Commission report, Kennedy was still so suspicious about a conspiracy that he wondered aloud â€œhow long he could continue to avoid comment on the reportâ€”it is evident that he believes it is was poor job.â€
Newly disclosed documents from the commission, made public on the 50th anniversary of its final report, suggest that the panel missed a chance to get Robert Kennedy to acknowledge publicly what he would later confess to his closest family and friends: that he believed the commission had overlooked evidence that might have pointed to a conspiracy.
The documents show the commission was prepared to press Kennedy to offer his views, under oath, about the possibility that Oswald had not acted alone. An affidavit, in which Kennedy would have been required to raise his right hand and deny knowledge of a conspiracy under penalty of perjury, was prepared for his signature by the commissionâ€™s staff but was never used. Instead, the attorney general became the highest ranking government official, apart from President Lyndon Johnson, who was excused from giving sworn testimony or offering a sworn written statement to the commission.
The decision to scrap the affidavit is another example of the extraordinary deference paid to the attorney general and his family by Chief Justice Earl Warren, the commissionâ€™s chairman. In an unsworn August 1964 letter to Warrenâ€”already public and long seen by historians as evasive, if not as an effort to mislead the commission outright about what he really knew and suspectedâ€”Kennedy said he was aware of â€œno credible evidence to support the allegations that the assassination of President Kennedy was caused by a domestic or foreign conspiracy.â€ Kennedyâ€™s private papers, however, suggest he struggled over signing even the unsworn letter to Warren.
There you go, some JFK conspiracy content for you on an early Tuesday morning.
At one time, Saskatoon had a pretty incredible public transit.
Itâ€™s been a long summer but one of the highlights was spending some time with the 2014 Ford Escape. Â I reviewed in 2013 and the SUV is essentially the same. Â Instead of just driving it around Saskatoon (done that before), I decided to take it on the road. Â This is after all where a crossover is supposed to come in useful isnâ€™t it (that and as a hockey kid taxi). Â So the four of us got up really early one Sunday and took a long one day drive from Saskatoon to Drumheller and back.Â Â Itâ€™s around 1000km in a day if you are keeping track. Â At the end of the trip we were going to either love or hate the 2014 Ford Escape.
We packed relatively light. Â Even though it was a brand new vehicle we tossed our emergency kit in the back, three camera bags, a cooler, and some extra jackets in case the weather forecast was horribly wrong. Â That took up about 5% of the rear cargo space.
We got into Drumheller at about noon where the Ford Escape met this guy. Â I know I signed something that stopped people from smoking in the Ford Escape, I couldnâ€™t remember if I was covered by stampeding dinosaurs. Â So I sent Mark and Oliver up to deal with the T-Rex.
After an epic struggle, they subdued the beat and saved the Escape.
I have driven from Saskatoon to Calgary many times and each time (generally at Hanna), I would get out and feel the pain in my back after four long hours of driving. Â This time it was completely different and here is why Â With the Escape, there was none of that. Â The air conditioner kept the kids cool while the heated seats kept Wendy and I feeling a lot more comfortable. Â If only they had a back massage feature.
After lunch we checked the GPS for directions to the Atlas Coal Mine. Â It couldnâ€™t find it. Â It found every other little attraction in Drumheller but missed this one. Â Obviously Ford downloads these attractions from a database but I was surprised a National Historic Site was not on it. Â Ironically enough Siri with itâ€™s much despised Apple Maps found us a way and we arrived after our failed conversation with Ford Sync. Â Apple 1 – Ford Sync 0.
Once at the Atlas Coal Mine, I discovered the true value of the Ford Escape. Â We explored an abandoned wooden bridge (which was home to rattlesnakes) and was almost completely rotten.
Explored the mine site
Wendy stumbled onto a model shoot
We took a mine tour
Climbed the â€œwalk from hellâ€ (this is important)
Where I tore my right quad and put myself in incredible pain (not all Ford reviews have happy endings). Â After heading back down the â€œwalk from hellâ€ (itâ€™s what the miners called it), I limped back to the waiting Ford Escape while the family kept exploring (thanks guys!)
The pain was incredible, my leg was almost useless and I limped back to the vehicle in incredible pain. Â I got in and actually had to lift my leg inside, turned on the Escape, turned on the a/c and turned on the heated seat. Â It didnâ€™t take away the pain but facing a five hour trip back to Saskatoon and realizing how much better it made my leg feel, it was amazing. (and made me add a tensor bandage and A535 to my emergency kit) when I got back into Drumheller.
I felt good enough to limp out and explore the Star Mine Suspension Bridge in Rosedale. Â While I never recommend walking on a moving suspension bridge with a torn quad, the heat kept it from getting really bad.
18 hours after, one rattlesnake sighting, two provinces, one radar dome, one torn quad, 1000 kms, three McDonaldâ€™s and one A&W run later, we rolled back into Saskatoon. Â Instead of whining and complaining despite being well past their bedtimes, the boys hopped out the car and Oliver said that was fun. Â He then hugged the Ford Escape goodnight. Â Yeah you read that right, after an 18 hour day, my six year old hugged the Escape. Â
It was then I realized why you want a 2014 Ford Escape. Â It is a lot of fun to drive in the city and the highway. Â Itâ€™s safe and like I wrote about the 2013 Ford Escape, it saved my families life when a guy lost control on icy roads. Â It looks great. Â Sirius XM radio is a lot of fun.
All of that is amazing but you buy one because the Escape facilitates fun times together with others. Â Whether that is an epic road trip with family or a weekend getaway with friends, it made a great trip better. Â It made a long day seem shorter. Â It made an improbable one day trip possible. Â It is small enough to be fun to drive but large enough that you can bring people along. Â It is everything a SUV should be. Â Since the first time I drove the Ford Escape, I fell in love with it and said that it was my favourite vehicle to drive. Â Since then it has become my families favourite vehicle as well. Â It facilitates fun.
You can read all about the technical specs here but in the end, they add up to one thing; great times spent together.
- I have been reviewing Ford cars for three years. Â Oliver is now six and since her first saw the Ford Sync GPS display, he has been fascinated. Â He sits in the back seat on a painful angle the entire time so he can see the display. Â That hasnâ€™t changed. Â I hope to review a Ford car in 2015 just to see how long this continues. Â Itâ€™s weird. Â Of course the one advantage of Ford Sync GPS screens is not navigation but the fact that you never hear, â€œAre we there yet?â€
- The bad thing about turn by turn instructions is that if you deviate off your course to take the scenic route (which I did), everyone panics and start back seat driving. Â Wendy is chirping at me, the boys are chirping at me. Â Sync is telling to â€œturn right, turn right, turn rightâ€. Â Iâ€™m like, I just want see some scenery! Â EVERYONE CALM DOWN and Sync is still going, â€œturn right, turn right, turn rightâ€. Â Why does no one trust me?!
- The Escape is fast. Â Shockingly fast for a SUV. Â Very comfortable to drive on a two lane highway. Â When I wanted to pass, I could.
- The Sync still crashes. Â Every Ford vehicle I have reviewed has had something go wrong with the Sync. Â The last time it wasnâ€™t that bad but it asked me to go to a dealer. Â Turning the Escape off and on rebooted it (it is from Microsoft after all). Â Instead of asking me to go to a dealer, it should just say, restart your car. Â Itâ€™s not a big thing but I canâ€™t believe it still does this. Â Then again, Microsoft. Â I should be used to it by now.
- Speaking of taking the scenic route, you will take more of them. Â The handling of the Escape is great and it kind of calls out for winding roads and rolling hills. Â A lot of fun.
- Even though the body design is older, it still turns heads. Â As I was limping towards the Star Mine Suspension Bridge someone turned and said, â€œthat is a nice looking SUVâ€. Â