Monthly Archives: May 2009

Announcement: I’ll Be Back Saturday!

I’m sorry I seem to be gone so often lately, but this is my last big thing for a while, with the exception of a few weekend trips.  My lack of posts this weekend was due to preparing for my big annual conference trip (yawn) and I won’t be back until Saturday around lunch.  Maybe I’ll have some good stories to tell everyone.  Doubtful.

Have a great week everyone!

Rick

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This Day in History, May 29th: Ronald Reagan, The Hoover Dam, and Melissa Etheridge

May 29th

  • 1790- Rhode Island finally gets around to ratifying the Constituition, and is admitted as the 13th U.S. state.
  • 1848- Wisconsin becomes the 30th U.S. state.
  • 1886- Coke (the drink) is advertised for the first time in the Atlanta Journal.
  • 1935- The Hoover Dam is completed.
  • 1988- Ronald Reagan makes his first trip to Soviet Union.
  • 1999- Space Shuttle Discovery completes its first docking with the International Space Station.
  • 2004- The World War II Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C.

Birthday Shoutouts

The Conservative Journal wishes a happy birthday to..

  • American rock singer Melissa Etheridge, 48.
  • Blair from The Facts of Life, Lisa Whelchel, 46.
  • Former American Idol contestant and plus-sized model Joanne Borgella, 27.

Happy International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers everyone!

To those of you that worship uner the Bahá’í Faith (Rainn Wilson/Dwight Schrute), happy Ascension of Bahá’u’lláh!

To those in Nepal, happy Republic Day!

Nigerians, happy Democracy Day!

And finally, Rhode Islanders and Wisonsinonians, happy Statehood Day!

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Music Review: Adam Lambert “Season 8 Favorite Performances” via iTunes

Continuing my American Idol Season 8 wrap-up nonsense, I decided I would also review Adam Lambert’s “Favorite Performances Collection”.  This song set is extremely popular on iTunes; it’s still #5 on top albums over one week from being released.  Here’s the review:

(The songs are in the order they appear on the track listing, and will be rating on a scale of 0 to 10 elephants)

  1. Black or White“- 8 Elephants- The live version of this “Black or White” was energetic and exciting, and I don’t think that translated very well to the studio version.  It seems much more relaxed.  Analogy: The live version is to bold, black coffee as the studio version is to a mocha frappe latte.
  2. Born to be Wild“- 8.5 Elephants- Once again, like “Black or White”, I don’t think these high-energy songs from Adam translate very well into studio recordings.  But of course it’s much harder to deliver the energy and excitement on a recording, especially an American Idol recording.  I can’t get it out of my head that this sounds like a “Born to be Wild” dance remix.
  3. Cryin“- 9 Elephants- This was one of my favorite songs from Adam throughout Season 8 because the screech/wail that he does worked so well.  It wasn’t overdone or obnoxious, it just worked.  The studio recording is similar in that it’s a great vocal and it all just works.
  4. Feeling Good“- 9.5 Elephants- I think this is one of the few songs that I enjoyed the studio recording and not really the live performance.  The studio recording is great!  Definitely one of my favorite studios from Adam.  He breathed new life to this old classic and it really worked.
  5. If I Can’t Have You“- 8.5 Elephants- The vocals in this song are great, but when I listen to it the music gives me the feeling that this an 80s pop song.  I don’t know what the people that add the backing track in are thinking sometimes.  Other than that, it’s good!
  6. Mad World“- 9.5 Elephants- I’ve got three words for you: haunting.  Take it in folks, I will never use the word “haunting” to describe a song again because it makes me feel like Kara.  Seriously though, this song is great and Adam does a great job with it every time.  It may be teetering on the edge of “performance overkill” since it’s been on every morning talk show in the U.S., but it’s still great and the definitive Adam song.
  7. One“- 9 Elephants- I expressed my complete disdain for Adam screwing up one of my favorite songs, but he fixed it all with the recording.  The little changes he made in the melody are gone and it’s back to it’s original form.  I know that I’m the number 1 proponent for changing songs up, but that’s only if it works.  If you go for it and it fails, tough stuff for you.  But like I said, he fixed it for the studio and it sounds great.
  8. Play That Funky Music“- 7 Elephants- I hate this song, and I like it no more when Adam does it.  The vocals are good, but the song is complete garbage.  That’s all I’ve gotta say about this one.
  9. Ring of Fire“-  0 Elephants- Just as frightening as the first time, I can’t even finish it.  I’m not trying to pull a Clay Aiken and say that I’m going to have nightmares and it was horrible in the vocals because that’s just not true.  The vocals are fine, the whole arrangement is just scary.  I don’t like this song really in any form though.  Oh and I don’t really give it 0, more like 7.
  10. The Tracks of My Tears“- 8.5 Elephants- I definitely liked the live version better without all the background nonsense going on, but it’s still a good song even in studio.  I wish American Idol would just leave the performances acoustic or whatever in studio because that’s the reason why American loves those performances!  Ahh, it’s so aggravating.
  11. Whole Lotta Love“- 9 Elephants- Once again like “Cryin” the screech works here.  If Adam is going to want to do the screech, then songs like these are definitely going to suit him well.  And to give the screech credit, it’s one heck of an on-pitch screech.
  12. A Change is Gonna Come“- 9 Elephants- It’s probably the most soulful track on the favorites compilation, and it definitely sounds good.  Not too much was added to the studio version (thankfully) so it keeps a lot of what was in the live version.

The Verdict

After much debate, I’ve decided that the following songs wil make the TCJ Playlist:

  • “Cryin”
  • “Feeling Good”
  • “Mad World”
  • “One”
  • “The Tracks of My Tears”
  • “Whole Lotta Love”
  • “A Change is Gonna Come”

What do you think of Adam’s “Season 8 Favorite Peformances” from iTunes?  If you disagree with my review, let us know!n  Leave your comments below or send an e-mail to theconservativejournal@gmail.com.  Don’t forget to bookmark The Conservative Journal and sign up for the RSS Feed and the daily e-mail newsletter.

Thanks for participating!

Rick

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Pointless Post of the Day: The Dionne Quintuplets

The Dionne Quintuplets were the first set of quintuplets to survivce past infancy.  They are also the only set ever recorded that consists of all indentical females.

When the Dionne Quintuplets were born 75 years ago, the mother of the children didn’t know she was expecting more than one child.  The babies were all delivered at home, 2 months premature, by Dr. Allan Dafoe.  Dr. Dafoe did not expect the babies or the mother to live much longer after the birth.  The mother had gone into shock, but did recover the next day.  The babies were under constant care and because of it, they all survived.

Four months after the birth, the government Ontario took the children from the parents because it felt they were unfit to care for 10 children, as the Dionne’s had 5 kids prior to the quintuplets.  Under their new government care, a nursery was built for their enjoyment.  The government of Ontario realized that there was much interest in the children, so they decided to make a profit.  It’s estimated that over 3 million poeple paid to visit the Dionne children in their nursery from 1936 to 1943.  The children also starred in four films; The Country Doctor, Reunion, Five of a Kind, and Quinupland.

Leave your comments below or send an e-mail to theconservativejournal@gmail.com.  Don’t forget to bookmark The Conservative Journal and sign up for the RSS Feed and the daily e-mail newsletter.

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Rick

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This Day in History: Octomom, Mars, and “The View”

May 28th

  • 1774- The first Continental Congress convenes.
  • 1830- President Andrew Jackson signs The Indian Removal Act which relocates Native Americans.
  • 1859- Big Ben is delivered to the Palace of Westminster on a 16-horse carriage.
  • 1930- The Chrylser Building, one the tallest building in the world, opens in New York.
  • 1934- The first set of quintuplets that survive through infancy are born.  Somewhere, Octomom is smirking.  Look for more on the original quintuplets in today’s “Pointless Post of the Day”.
  • 1937- The Golden Gate Bridge officially opens to vehicle traffic.
  • 1952- Women in Greece are given the right to vote.
  • 1964- The PLO is formed.
  • 1996- Bill Clinton’s are convicted of fraud in the Whitewater land deal.
  • 2002- The Mars Odyssey finds evidence of space ice.

Birthday Shoutouts

The Conservative Journal wishes a happy birthday to..

  • The two surviving “original quintuplets” Cecile and Annette Dionne, 75.
  • “The Empress of Soul” Gladys Knight, 65.
  • My favorite mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani, 65.
  • The only non-vomit-inducing member of “The View” Elisabeth Hasselbeck (Did you know her maiden name is “Filarski”?  How awesome is that!), 32.
  • American pop singer Colbie Caillat, 24.

Happy Flag Day to those in the Philippines!

Leave your comments below or send an e-mail to theconservativejournal@gmail.com.  Don’t forget to bookmark The Conservative Journal and sign up for the RSS Feed and the daily e-mail newsletter.

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Rick

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Music Review: Kris Allen “Season 8 Favorite Performances” via iTunes

For the third year in a row, iTunes is offering an end of the season collection of each contestant’s best performances of the year.  This year, I’m pretty sure the collection includes every performance of the year.  To continue the theme of celebrating Kris Allen’s victory, here is a review of his “Season 8 Favorite Performances Collection” via iTunes:

(The songs are in the order they appear on the track listing, and will be rating on a scale of 0 to 10 elephants)

  1. Ain’t No Sunshine“- 9 Elephants- Probably my 3rd favorite song by Kris of the season.  This one really pushes Kris’, and he think he pulls out if very well.  “Ain’t No Sunshine” is some of the best evidence that Kris can make anything current.
  2. All She Wants To Do Is Dance“- 8.5 Elephants- Though this performance received some of his less enthusiastic critiques, the studio recording is fun and, as usual, has a current sounding vocal.  The backing music is the main detractor from this song, but overall it’s a good one.
  3. Apologize“- 8 Elephants- The vocals are great, but it sounds almost identical to the original.  This is one of the less inventive Kris Allen tunes.  A must have for fans, but those with the original can probably save the 99 cents.
  4. Come Together“- 9 Elephants- Well first of all, I love this song.  And though Kris’ rendition doesn’t quite live up to Carly Smithson’s from last year, it’s entertaining.  Kris takes a more fun, upbeat route with “Come Together”, and I think it worked better on the recording than on the show.  But I enjoyed both.
  5. Falling Slowly“- 9.5 Elephants- Ahh, “Falling Slowly”.  The live performance, it’s worth noting, was brilliant.  It was performed the night that only two judges gave critiques and Randy, in his ignorance, gave it a very poor review.  Simon fixed by calling it “brilliant” the next night, and thankfully it was too late as Kris was sent to safety.  My favorite vocal from Kris, but second favorite only to..
  6. Heartless“- 9 Elephants- So convenient how I could transition seemlessly like that.  Anyway, many of you that followed my season of American Idol commentary know that this is the only song I gave an “A+” rating on my recap.  Well, the recording only gets a 9 because the acoustic element is not there.  In American Idol fashion, they have to throw in the full orchestra even for great acoustic performances.  Still a great song to have.
  7. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)“- 7.5 Elephants- This is one of the few songs that I just cannot remember the live performance for.  I’m debating over whether I was gone for that episode or something.  Anyway, this is one of the least memorable of the “Kris Allen Collection”, and the back-up singing is a annoying and too loud.
  8. Remember the Time“- 7.5 Elephants- “Remember the Time” is very much like the above song, though I do remember this one vaguely.  It’s a more upbeat and fun song, though I don’t think I’ll find myself putting it in the “Top 25” rotation on my iPod.
  9. She Works Hard For the Money“- 8.5 Elephants- This when I really started to consider Kris as a potential contender.  He took this Donna Summer song and completely changed it up in a way that made it current and entertaining.  The live version was definitely better, but I think he more than likely didn’t choose the extra orchestra accompaniment.
  10. The Way You Look Tonight“- 7.5 Elephants- The recording of “The Way You Look Tonight” is one of Kris’ more traditional songs.  It doesn’t stray far from the original, and is a more subdued performance by Kris.
  11. To Make You Feel My Love“- 9 Elephants- I sure am glad that I decided to review this because I had forgotten all about this performance.  This performances came around when no one really knew anything about Kris and mostly just considered him the purest form of canon fodder.  However, “To Make You Feel My Love” is truly a great performance, and it deserves a little more praise than it has gotten.
  12. What’s Going On“- 9 Elephants- The finale of Season 8 was full of great performances by both contenders, and this was definitely one of them.  I prefer the live version of this one slightly, but as you can tell I usually do when it comes to American Idol produced songs.  Definitely an under-appreciate song from the “Kris Allen Collection”.

The Verdict

I definitely enjoyed listening back over Kris’ performances of the season to see just how far he progressed as a competitor and an artist.  As for the playlist, the following make the cut:

  • “Ain’t No Sunshine”
  • “All She Wants To Do Is Dance”
  • “Come Together”
  • “Falling Slowly”
  • “Heartless”
  • “She Works Hard for the Money”
  • “To Make You Feel My Love”
  • “What’s Going On”

What do you think of the “Season 8 Favorite Peformances” from iTunes?  If you disagree with my review, let us know!n  Leave your comments below or send an e-mail to theconservativejournal@gmail.com.  Don’t forget to bookmark The Conservative Journal and sign up for the RSS Feed and the daily e-mail newsletter.

Thanks for participating!

Rick

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Filed under Entertainment, Kris Allen, Music, Singers, TCJ Playlist

Video of the Day: The National Debt Road Trip

I saw this video on YouTube and I thought it provided a great illustration of just how much we are going to spend over the next few years.  I think it really puts into perspective the way we’re going is not the solution.  Here’s the video:

To watch other videos like this one, click here to view 1000pennies YouTube channel.

What do you think of this illustration?  Leave your comments below or send an e-mail to theconservativejournal@gmail.com.  Don’t forget to bookmark The Conservative Journal and sign up for the RSS Feed and the daily e-mail newsletter.

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Rick

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Pointless Post of the Day: Pauline Hanson’s “Pauline’s United Australia Party”

Pauline Hanson

Pauline Hanson

Pauline’s United Australia Party was created by Australian politician, Pauline Hanson.  Hanson was the founder of One Nation, a nationalist political party in Australia.

Hanson formed the party in order to ensure that her name appeared above the line (as per the voting method in Australian federal elections) rather than simply below the line amongst a list of independent candidates.

In the first election as a member of “Pauline’s United Australia Party”, Hanson received over 100,000 votes, garnering her 4% of the statewide vote in Queensland.

Brian Burston also ran under this political party for the Australian Senate int the state of New South Whales.  He received nearly 40,000 votes, nearly 1% of the vote.

Pauline Hanson, the founder of the party, was named among the Top 100 Most Influential Australians of All Time.

Leave your comments below or send an e-mail to theconservativejournal@gmail.com.  Don’t forget to bookmark The Conservative Journal and sign up for the RSS Feed and the daily e-mail newsletter.

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Rick

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This Day in History: Canada, Ford, and Baseball

May 27th

  • 1813- In Canada, American forces capture Fort George as a part of the War of 1812.
  • 1883- Alexander III is crowned Tsar of Russia.
  • 1896- The F4-strength St. Louis Tornado hits in St. Louis, Missouri and East Saint Louis, Illinois, killing at least 255 people and causing $2.9 billion in damages.
  • 1907- A Bubonic plague outbreak begins in San Francisco, California.
  • 1927- The Ford Motor Company ceases manufacturing the Ford Model T.
  • 1967- The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy is christened by Jacqueline Kennedy and her daughter Caroline.
  • 1995- Actor Christopher Reeve is paralyzed from the neck down after falling from his horse in a riding competition.
  • 1997- The U.S. Supreme Court rules that Paula Jones can pursue her sexual harassment lawsuit against President Bill Clinton while he is in office.
  • 1998- Michael Fortier is sentenced to 12 years in prison and fined $200,000 for failing to warn authorities about the Oklahoma City bombing.

Birthday Shoutouts

The Conservative Journal wishes a Happy Birthday to..

  • Australian politician Pauline Hanson because she made her own political party, 55.
  • ABC News anchor Cynthia McFadden, 53.
  • Former Houston Astros player Jeff Bagwell, 41.
  • Baseball champ and current free-agent Frank Thomas, 41.

Bolivian mothers: Happy Mother’s Day!

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Rick

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Music Review: “No Boundaries” Kris Allen

In honor of the close of the 8th season of American Idol, I have decided to make Kris Allen’s “No Boundaries” the first song that I review in consideration for the “TCJ Playlist”.

In a shocker to most (me), Kris Allen pulled out a victory against front-runner Adam Lambert for the American Idol win.  With the big win Kris was rewarded fame, a car, countless interviews and media attention, and this heap of trash known as “No Boundaries”.  I’ve been a fan of Kris Allen to some degree since around the time dear Megan Joy was eliminted.  As the competition progressed, I began to realize just how popular Kris Allen had the potential to be.  However, everything Kris had made himself as an artist was the polar opposite of the bombastic, borderline obnoxious, “No Boundaries” trash pile.  Kris is a subtle artist.  He does not sing about weathering hurricans and going deeper and higher.  Having said that, he didn’t pick the song or have any part in the arrangement.  His performance on Ellen was acoustic, and he seemed much more comfortable.  The studio version is also better than the Finale performance as far as fitting his voice, but it’s still a crappy song.

The Verdict

The song is trash.  However, given that Kris didn’t write it or choose it, I give him a pass there.  The vocals are good on the recording and it does have potential to do well considering most people don’t listen to words of songs.   So yes, I will reluctantly approve “No Boundaries” for the TCJ Playlist.  Just don’t look for it on my iPod.

Scorecard

“No Boundaries” the song- 2 Elephants (Sorry, don’t have the graphics working now)

“No Boundaries” by Kris Allen- 4 Elephants

What do you think of this tune?  Leave your comments below or send an e-mail to theconservativejournal@gmail.com.  Don’t forget to bookmark The Conservative Journal and sign up for the RSS Feed and the daily e-mail newsletter.

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Rick

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TCJ Playlist: More Fun Stuff

I realize that some people think I’m going a little overboard on the “feature” posts, but, to quote a famous song, “it’s my blog, and I’ll post what I want to”.

**future home of TCJ Playlist graphic**

The latest addition to The Conservative Journal line-up of entertainment is the “TCJ Playlist”.  How this will work is that each time I review a CD or a new song (Which I plan to start doing soon.) I will decide if it makes the cut for the playlist or not.  The playlist does not necessarily include songs that I like, but rather songs that are not complete garbage.  If a full CD is reviewed, I do reserve the rite to “line-item veto” (Barack/Congress, take notes for this part) the songs that I do not like, placing only those that I deem not complete garbage on the playlist.  I think this holds the potential to be a lot of fun for me, and moderate fun for those that read along.  As usual, any suggestions for the playlist are greatly appreciated and welcomed, simply e-mail your suggestions to theconservativejournal@gmail.com.

What does this have to with politics, you ask?  Everything, because politics is in everything and music is a thing.

Don’t forget, if you have a request for an album review or a suggestion for the playlist, send your e-mails to theconservativejournal@gmail.com, or leave a comment below.  Don’t forget to bookmark The Conservative Journal and sign up for the RSS Feed and the daily e-mail newsletter.

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Rick

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TCJ Honorary Plaque of Fail: FreeCreditReport.com

Apparently I’m the last one to figure this out, but that’s the norm these days.

NEWSFLASH:

FreeCreditReport.com is not free.  In fact it costs $15 a month.  The company behind the service is now forced to alter there catchy commericals due to the recent crackdown on the credit card and credit industries.  Suppliers of these “free” services now have to inlcude “This is not the free credit report provided for by Federal law” in all tv and radio advertisements.  They must also now inform consumers that the only free credit report service is AnnualCreditReport.com.

I’ve never been in search of a credit report service, but it’s a real shame that people didn’t do further investigating when looking for a free report.  If they hadn’t been drawn in by FreeCreditReport.com’s catchy jingles, they could have easily found the free alternative.  So for catchy jingles, FreeCreditReport.com gets a thumbs up.  But for scamming consumers out of millions, two big thumbs down.

FreeCreditReport.com, The Conservative Journal honors you with the “Honorary Plaque of Fail” because you’re going to have a heck of time developing a well written jingle that includes “15 Dollar a Month credit report dot com” and “This is not the free credit report provided for by Federal law”.  Best of luck.

What do you think of this services trickery?  How long have you known about this?  Longer than I have, I assure you.  Leave your comments below or send an e-mail to theconservativejournal@gmail.com.  Don’t forget to bookmark The Conservative Journal and sign up for the RSS Feed and the daily e-mail newsletter.

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Rick

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Video of the Day: Susan Boyle singing “Memories”

Here is Susan Boyle’s follow-up performance to her showstopping audition Britain’s Got Talent.  She’s got to be one of my favorite people.

What do you think of Ms. Boyle’s second round?  Leave your comments below or send an e-mail to theconservativejournal@gmail.com.  Don’t forget to bookmark The Conservative Journal and sign up for the RSS Feed and the daily e-mail newsletter.

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Rick

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This Day in History: Witches, Feral Kids, and Lenny Kravitz

May 26th

  • 1293- An earthquake strikes Kamakura, Japan, killing about 30,000.
  • 1647- Alse Young becomes the first person executed as a witch in the American colonies, when she is hanged in Hartford, Connecticut.
  • 1805- Napoléon Bonaparte assumes the title of King of Italy and is crowned with the Iron Crown of Lombardy in the Duomo di Milano, the gothic cathedral in Milan.
  • 1828- Mysterious feral child Kaspar Hauser is discovered wandering the streets of Nuremberg.
  • 1830- The Indian Removal Act is passed by the U.S. Congress; it is signed into law by President Andrew Jackson two days later.
  • 1964- Montana becomes a U.S. Territory.
  • 1868- President Andrew Johnson is found not guilty in his impeachment trial by 1 vote.
  • 1896- Charles Dow introduces the first publication of the Dow Industrial Average.
  • 1966- British Guiana gains its independence, becoming Guyana.
  • 1998- The U.S. Supreme Court rules that Ellis Island is mostly in New Jersey rather than New York.
  • 2006- The May 2006 Java earthquake kills over 5,700 people, leaves 200,000 homeless.

Birthday Shoutouts

The Conservative Journal wishes a Happy Birthday to..

  • Stevie Nicks, because I don’t want to anger anyone that might be a Wiccan*, 61.
  • Hank Williams Jr., his song is called “The Red, White, and Pink Slip Blues”, need I say more?  60.
  • Bobcat Goldthwait, clearly because of the name, 47.
  • American singer-songwriter Lenny Kravitz, 45.

*The Conservative Journal DOES NOT believe that Stevie Nicks is or has ever been a member of the Wicca Cult.

Other

To all you Polish mothers out there, Happy Mother’s Day!

Leave your comments below or send an e-mail to theconservativejournal@gmail.com.  Don’t forget to bookmark The Conservative Journal and sign up for the RSS Feed and the daily e-mail newsletter.

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Rick

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Pointless Post of the Day: William W. Dixon

I’m back today!  I had a great trip to see the family for Memorial Day weekend.  I hope every one had a great holiday as well and is enjoying what is more than likely your first day back at work after a long weekend.  Woo.

William W. Dixon was a U.S. Representative for Montana for 2 years between March, 1891, and March, 1893.  Dixon was originally from Brooklyn, New York, though he left there at a young age and never returned.  When Dixon was old enough, he attended law school Keokuk, Iowa, and was admitted to the bar in 1858.  He then moved to Tennessee in 1860, then to Arkansas a few short months later.  He then moved to California for a very short time before moving to Nevada for a little over 3 years.  In 1866 he moved to Helena Montana, where he resided until 1879.  He then temporarily moved to Black Hills, but returned to Montana in 1881 and practiced law in Butte.  In 1891 he was elected as a Democrat to serve  in Congress.  In 1893, however, he failed to be re-elected.  He then practiced law until retiring to Los Angeles, California, where he lived until his death in 1910.  Even after his death Dixon couldn’t stay settled.  His casket was moved 3 times after his death.

Leave your comments below or send an e-mail to theconservativejournal@gmail.com.  Don’t forget to bookmark The Conservative Journal and sign up for the RSS Feed and the daily e-mail newsletter.

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Rick


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