On January 29, 2016, Karl Zinmeister delivered a talk on philanthropy at Hillsdale University. Part of this talk was printed in Imprimus, http://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/ a free, monthly publication. I strongly encourage all Classical Historian readers to subscribe to this newsletter. Many facts and ideas of this week’s current event article are presented here. We also used Mr. Zinmeister’s article found at this address: http://www.philanthropyroundtable.org/topic/donor_intent/donation
Americans donate more than any other people on Earth. Per capita, Americans donate seven times as much as the average European. The charitable sector of our economy is much greater than the size of our national defense, comprising 11 percent of our country’s workforce, and 6% of America’s gross domestic product. On top of this, there are between four and ten million full-time volunteer employees. In 2015, Americans gave over $300 billion to charity. Of this amount, 15% came from charitable foundations, 6% came from corporations, and 79% came from individual Americans.
Zinmeister writes that the giving nature of Americans has an incredible influence on our society. One area charitable giving has affected is the education of citizens. In 1880, Ohio had three million inhabitants and 37 colleges. England had 23 million inhabitants but only four colleges. One reason for this difference is that in England, the four colleges were public, built and run by the government of England. In Ohio, however, most of the colleges were private, founded by thousands of small, individual donations. Throughout America, hundreds of private universities were founded by thousands of individual donations.
It is amazing to ponder the amount of donations Americans give. The Gates Foundation donates more assistance overseas than the entire Italian government. Its work with helping children is believed to save 8 million kids in its first two decades. Americans in churches and synagogues send four and a half times as much the Gates Foundation does. And, private American philanthropic aid is more than the entire foreign aid budget of the U.S. government. Most American families who donate give in amounts less than $2,500 annually.
Mr. Zinmeister offers three reasons why Americans lead the world in giving. He notes that the U.S.A. is the most religious industrialized nation in the world. Zinmeister writes, “Religion motivates giving more than any other factor.” The second reason is that Americans believe in the idea of helping your neighbor. The third reason is entrepreneurialism. Americans are motivated to succeed by the idea of starting a company and providing a product or service that others need. Americans also like to support others to fulfill their dreams.
In late January 2016, journalists and various television news reporters and President Obama announced that 2015 was the warmest year ever recorded. A closer look at the evidence used to make this claim seriously questions this claim. 2015 was most likely not near the hottest year on record.
Until June 2015, most scientists agreed that there had been no warming of the Earth since 1990. They believed that if there is a global warming trend over the last 100 years, it had taken a pause. This conclusion was radically altered by a U.S. governmental organization that decided to change how it documents climate data.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) changed how it collects and documents climate data. From the late 1970s up to the summer of 2015, the NOAA used satellite sea-surface temperatures to measure the climate. In the summer of 2015, the NOAA decided to throw out the satellite readings and use instead, among other sources, cooling-water-intake tubes of oceangoing vessels.
Taking temperature readings from cooling-water-intake tubes has many problems. A ship conducts heat, absorbs energy from the sun, and vessels have intake tubes at different ocean depths. For more information, read this scientific article. NOAA’s new measurement standard resulted in a finding that showed the Earth had had its warmest year on record. In the various climate reports that appeared in newspapers, on television networks, an in President Obama’s messages, no report of NOAA’s changes were made.
Not taken into account of the temperature readings was the “El Nino” effect. El Nino refers to the periodic change of Pacific trade winds and deep-ocean currents. During an El Nino year, water in the Pacific Ocean is warmer. This happened in 1998, as well. Once the El Nino effect ends, ocean temperatures will most likely come back down, as they did after the 1998 El Nino.
How do we know what the climate on Earth is? This is a very challenging task for those of us who are not scientists. But as historians, we can continue to try to read from various sources, and slowly and patiently form our opinions.
1. What was announced in January 2016 about climate change?
2. Until June 2015, how did the U.S.A. take climate records?
3. From the summer of 2015, what change did the U.S. government make in how it keeps climate records?
4. What are some problems associated with keeping climate records based on cooling-water-intake tubes of ocean-going vessels?
5. What is El Nino?
In 2016, Americans will choose Presidential candidates and in November, we will eventually vote for the U.S. President. Wherever the Democrat or Republican Parties are shown as images, they are presented as a donkey and an elephant. These images are both easy to see and comical. The history behind these party animals is little-known, though not a secret.
In the 1828 election, advocates for President John Q. Adams called Andrew Jackson a jackass. Adams wanted Americans to think of Jackson as a foolish, stupid and stubborn person, a blockhead, and an idiot. Instead, Andrew Jackson took this insult and turned it into a compliment. He used the image of a donkey on his campaign posters and took the mantle of a strong-willed candidate. For decades after, the donkey was, at times, associated with the Democrat Party.
In 1874, cartoonist Thomas Nast drew a donkey in a lion’s costume scaring away all the animals. Only the elephant is shown as being not afraid. Nast wrote “The Republican Vote” on the elephant. From this time, the elephant has symbolized the Republican Party.
Today, Democrats may argue that the donkey is tough, while Republican may say the elephant is strong.
George Washington (1732-1799)
"First in War, First in Peace, and First in the Hearts of His Countrymen"
Washington's Birthday is one of eleven federal holidays of the United States of America. Americans celebrate this holiday on the third Monday of February. Within the last 30 or 40 years, some states have preferred to call this holiday "President's Day" in honor of Washington and Lincoln, as both are born in February. Sadly, most kids know little about Washington except that he was our first President.
George Washington is called The Father of our Country. This name is significant. Without a father, there can be no family. Many historians say that without George Washington, there could be no United States of America. George Washington was the most important American during its founding years.
I. Early Life
Born on February 22, 1732, George Washington grew up on his family’s tobacco plantation in Virginia. His family owned slaves and was moderately wealthy. As a little boy, George was known for swimming in the nearby river, playing outside, riding horses, and taking his studies seriously. We think George studied under Reverend James Marye, rector of St. George’s Parish.
In the 1700s, death was much more common than it is today due to poorer medical knowledge and practice. George’s father’s first wife died. His father Augustine remarried to Mary and they had six children. George was Augustine and Mary’s first baby, and he was born on February 22, 1732 in Virginia. Augustine and Mary lost three children, two dying in infancy, and one at the age of 12. When George was 11, his father died.
Washington studied and practiced good manners and correct behavior. As a young man, Washington attended church at St. George’s Parish in Fredericksburg. Along with his religious training, he learned how to behave in society by writing and reflecting on a book entitled Rules of Civility & Decent Behaviour In Company and Conversation. The book survives today.
In public, Washington paid close attention to how he interacted with others, trying always to present himself in the best way possible. George took dancing lessons, went to the theater, and was renowned as a superb horseman. He was tall, especially for the 1700s, with some reporting that he was 6 feet, 4 inches. Washington is known for having a commanding presence.
II. Military Life
In the 1700s, France, Spain, and England wanted to control North America. Washington joined the Virginia militia and rose to the rank of major. In the French and Indian War (1756-1763), the English fought the French and Indians for control of the Ohio Valley. In The Battle of Monongahela, the British General Braddock was killed, and every other officer was shot, except Washington. Washington was forced to take over and skillfully lead the British and Virginian forces in retreat. Riding on his horse, back and forth among his soldiers in plain sight of the enemy, his actions saved perhaps hundreds of soldiers. On that day, the Indians shot and killed two horses while he was riding them, but they couldn’t kill Washington.
After the battle, his coat had bullet holes on both the front and the back. A story it told that as President, an Indian warrior visited him and said these words, “White Father. I was there at the Battle of Monongahela. We were victorious that day and had shot all of the officers off of their horses but you. I told my men to aim at you, but after many efforts to kill you, we realized that The Great Spirit was protecting you, and we stopped firing on you.”
General Washington achieved his greatest military success during the American Revolution (1775-1783). Named Commander of the Continental Army, Washington raised an army from farmers, trained the Americans into a professional fighting force, and defeated the greatest empire in the world. It is difficult to overstate his accomplishments in the American Revolution. In the battles he lost, such as The Battle of Long Island in the summer of 1776, he craftily led his army out of a terrible trap so they could fight another day. In battles he won, such as the Battle of Trenton and the Battle of Princeton, he gave the American army courage that they could win the war. In the last battle of the war, the Battle of Yorktown, he tricked one of the world’s best generals, General Cornwallis, and captured, killed, or wounded Cornwallis’ entire army.
Washington served as President from 1789-1797. He strengthened the national government and set a precedent that Presidents would not become kings. During his service, he worked hard to make Americans see themselves as Americans first, and not as citizens of the various states or as people who were French-American or English-American. When citizens in Pennsylvania violently protested a tax on whiskey, Washington ordered 13,000 U.S. soldiers to march and put down the revolt. When Washington was asked to serve a third term, he refused and went back to being a farmer in Virginia. Because of his example of humility, all subsequent presidents for over 130 years only served two terms. Within a few years of retiring from public life, Washington became sick and died at his home, Mount Vernon.
IV. National Holiday
In 1880, an act of Congress declared George Washington’s birthday as a federal holiday. It is the first national holiday honoring an American citizen. Washington’s birthday is celebrated on the third Monday of February.
For Pre-K Through Grade 5:
1. After reading the biography, continue to scroll down to the Rules of Civility Washington learned as a young man. Choose two rules of civility and have the students copy these rules. Have the kids write the rules in their own words. Ask the students if they think the rules are important.
2. The following website has coloring pages and other activities for kids:
3. After reading and discussing the biography, young students write a paragraph on this question, "What type of person was George Washington? Base your answer on Washington's beliefs, his childhood, and his actions."
For grades 6-12:
1. After reading the biography, continue to scroll down to the Rules of Civility Washington learned as a young man. Choose two rules of civility and have the students copy these rules. Have the kids write the rules in their own words. Ask the students if they think the rules are important.
2. Have the students write a short paragraph answering this question, “What did George Washington do that encouraged Americans to call him the “Father of the Country?”
3. Get the family together, and have the older kids read out loud their paragraphs.
4. For the semester, or year, you could have the kids copy one piece of advice per week, and attempt to focus on this one rule each week.
Rules of Civility
Rules of Civility & Decent Behaviour
In Company and Conversation
When George Washington was a young man, he copied the following, which was translated from a European language. He may be the most respected American public servant of all time, and it seems that he followed the advice set forth in the following rules.
1. Every Action done in Company, ought to be with Some Sign of Respect, to those that are Present.
2. When in Company, put not your Hands to any Part of the Body, not usually Discovered.
3. Shew Nothing to your Freind that may affright him.
4. In the Presence of Others Sing not to yourself with a humming Noise, nor Drum with your Fingers or Feet.
5. If You Cough, Sneeze, Sigh, or Yawn, do it not Loud but Privately; and Speak not in your Yawning, but put Your handkercheif
or Hand before your face and turn aside.
6. Sleep not when others Speak, Sit not when others stand, Speak not when you Should hold your Peace, walk not on when others Stop.
7. Put not off your Cloths in the presence of Others, nor go out your Chamber half Drest.
8. At Play and at Fire its Good manners to Give Place to the last Commer, and affect not to Speak Louder than Ordinary.
9. Spit not in the Fire, nor Stoop low before it neither Put your Hands into the Flames to warm them, nor Set your Feet upon the Fire especially if there be meat before it
10. When you Sit down, Keep your Feet firm and Even, without putting one on the other or Crossing them. 11th Shift not yourself in the Sight of others nor Gnaw your nails.
12th Shake not the head, Feet, or Legs rowl not the Eys lift not one eyebrow higher than the other wry not the mouth, and bedew no mans face with your Spittle, by appr[oaching too nea]r him [when] you Speak.
13th Kill no Vermin as Fleas, lice ticks &c in the Sight of Others, if you See any filth or thick Spittle put your foot Dexteriously upon it if it be upon the Cloths of your Companions, Put it off privately, and if it be upon your own Cloths return Thanks to him who puts it off.
14th Turn not your Back to others especially in Speaking, Jog not the Table or Desk on which Another reads or writes, lean not upon any one.
15th Keep your Nails clean and Short, also your Hands and Teeth Clean yet without Shewing any great Concern for them.
16th Do not Puff up the Cheeks, Loll not out the tongue rub the Hands, or beard, thrust out the lips, or bite them or keep the Lips too open or too Close.
17th Be no Flatterer, neither Play with any that delights not to be Play'd Withal.18th Read no Letters, Books, or Papers in Company but when there is a Necessity for the doing of it you must ask leave: come not near the Books or Writings of Another so as to read them unless desired or give your opinion of them unask'd also look not nigh when another is writing a Letter.
19th let your Countenance be pleasant but in Serious Matters Somewhat grave.
20th The Gestures of the Body must be Suited to the discourse you are upon.
21st: Reproach none for the Infirmaties of Nature, nor Delight to Put them that have in mind thereof.
22d Shew not yourself glad at the Misfortune of another though he were your enemy.
23d When you see a Crime punished, you may be inwardly Pleased; but always shew Pity to the Suffering Offender.
[24th Do not laugh too loud or] too much at any Publick [Spectacle].25th Superfluous Complements and all Affectation of Ceremonie are to be avoided, yet where due they are not to be Neglected.
26th In Pulling off your Hat to Persons of Distinction, as Noblemen, Justices, Churchmen &c make a Reverence, bowing more or less according to the Custom of the Better Bred, and Quality of the Person. Amongst your equals expect not always that they Should begin with you first, but to Pull off the Hat when there is no need is Affectation, in the Manner of Saluting and resaluting in words keep to the most usual Custom.
27th Tis ill manners to bid one more eminent than yourself be covered as well as not to do it to whom it's due Likewise he that makes too much haste to Put on his hat does not well, yet he ought to Put it on at the first, or at most the Second time of being ask'd; now what is herein Spoken, of Qualification in behaviour in Saluting, ought also to be observed in taking of Place, and Sitting down for ceremonies without Bounds is troublesome.
28th If any one come to Speak to you while you are are Sitting Stand up tho he be your Inferiour, and when you Present Seats let it be to every one according to his Degree.29th When you meet with one of Greater Quality than yourself, Stop, and retire especially if it be at a Door or any Straight place to give way for him to Pass.
30th In walking the highest Place in most Countrys Seems to be on the right hand therefore Place yourself on the left of him whom you desire to Honour: but if three walk together the mid[dest] Place is the most Honourable the wall is usually given to the most worthy if two walk together.
31st If any one far Surpassess others, either in age, Estate, or Merit [yet] would give Place to a meaner than hims[elf in his own lodging or elsewhere] the one ought not to except it, S[o he on the other part should not use much earnestness nor offer] it above once or twice.
32d: To one that is your equal, or not much inferior you are to give the cheif Place in your Lodging and he to who 'tis offered ought at the first to refuse it but at the Second to accept though not without acknowledging his own unworthiness.
33d They that are in Dignity or in office have in all places Preceedency but whilst they are Young they ought to respect those that are their equals in Birth or other Qualitys, though they have no Publick charge.34th It is good Manners to prefer them to whom we Speak befo[re] ourselves especially if they be above us with whom in no Sort we ought to begin.
35th Let your Discourse with Men of Business be Short and Comprehensive.
36th Artificers & Persons of low Degree ought not to use many ceremonies to Lords, or Others of high Degree but Respect and high[ly] Honour them, and those of high Degree ought to treat them with affibility & Courtesie, without Arrogancy.
37th In Speaking to men of Quality do not lean nor Look them full in the Face, nor approach too near them at lest Keep a full Pace from them.
38th In visiting the Sick, do not Presently play the Physicion if you be not Knowing therein.
39th In writing or Speaking, give to every Person his due Title According to his Degree & the Custom of the Place.40th Strive not with your Superiers in argument, but always Submit your Judgment to others with Modesty.
41st Undertake not to Teach your equal in the art himself Proffesses; it Savours of arrogancy.
[42d Let thy ceremonies in] Courtesie be proper to the Dignity of his place [with whom thou conversest for it is absurd to ac]t the same with a Clown and a Prince.
43d Do not express Joy before one sick or in pain for that contrary Passion will aggravate his Misery.
44th When a man does all he can though it Succeeds not well blame not him that did it.
45th Being to advise or reprehend any one, consider whether it ought to be in publick or in Private; presently, or at Some other time in what terms to do it & in reproving Shew no Sign of Cholar but do it with all Sweetness and Mildness.
46th Take all Admonitions thankfully in what Time or Place Soever given but afterwards not being culpable take a Time [&] Place convenient to let him him know it that gave them.
7th Mock not nor Jest at any thing of Importance break [n]o Jest that are Sharp Biting and if you Deliver any thing witty and Pleasent abtain from Laughing thereat yourself.
48th Wherein wherein you reprove Another be unblameable yourself; for example is more prevalent than Precepts.
9 Use no Reproachfull Language against any one neither Curse nor Revile.
0th Be not hasty to beleive flying Reports to the Disparag[e]ment of any.
51st Wear not your Cloths, foul, unript or Dusty but See they be Brush'd once every day at least and take heed tha[t] you approach not to any Uncleaness.52d In your Apparel be Modest and endeavour to accomodate Nature, rather than to procure Admiration keep to the Fashio[n] of your equals Such as are Civil and orderly with respect to Times and Places.
53d Run not in the Streets, neither go t[oo s]lowly nor wit[h] Mouth open go not Shaking yr Arms [kick not the earth with yr feet, go] not upon the Toes, nor in a Dancing [fashion].
54th Play not the Peacock, looking every where about you, to See if you be well Deck't, if your Shoes fit well if your Stokings sit neatly, and Cloths handsomely.
55th Eat not in the Streets, nor in the House, out of Season.
56th Associate yourself with Men of good Quality if you Esteem your own Reputation; for 'tis better to be alone than in bad Company.57th In walking up and Down in a House, only with One in Compan[y] if he be Greater than yourself, at the first give him the Right hand and Stop not till he does and be not the first that turns, and when you do turn let it be with your face towards him, if he be a Man of Great Quality, walk not with him Cheek by Joul but Somewhat behind him; but yet in Such a Manner that he may easily Speak to you.
58th Let your Conversation be without Malice or Envy, for 'tis a Sig[n o]f a Tractable and Commendable Nature: And in all Causes of Passion [ad]mit Reason to Govern.
59th Never express anything unbecoming, nor Act agst the Rules Mora[l] before your inferiours.
60th Be not immodest in urging your Freinds to Discover a Secret.
61st Utter not base and frivilous things amongst grave and Learn'd Men nor very Difficult Questians or Subjects, among the Ignorant or things hard to be believed, Stuff not your Discourse with Sentences amongst your Betters nor Equals.62d Speak not of doleful Things in a Time of Mirth or at the Table; Speak not of Melancholy Things as Death and Wounds, and if others Mention them Change if you can the Discourse tell not your Dreams, but to your intimate Friend.
63d A Man o[ug]ht not to value himself of his Atchievements, or rare Qua[lities of wit; much less of his rich]es Virtue or Kindred.
64th Break not a Jest where none take pleasure in mirth Laugh not aloud, nor at all without Occasion, deride no mans Misfortune, tho' there Seem to be Some cause.
65th Speak not injurious Words neither in Jest nor Earnest Scoff at none although they give Occasion.
66th Be not froward but friendly and Courteous; the first to Salute hear and answer & be not Pensive when it's a time to Converse.67th Detract not from others neither be excessive in Commanding.
68th Go not thither, where you know not, whether you Shall be Welcome or not. Give not Advice with[out] being Ask'd & when desired [d]o it briefly.
9 If two contend together take not the part of either unconstrain[ed]; and be not obstinate in your own Opinion, in Things indiferent be of the Major Side.
70th Reprehend not the imperfections of others for that belong[s] to Parents Masters and Superiours.
71st Gaze not on the marks or blemishes of Others and ask not how they came. What you may Speak in Secret to your Friend deliver not before others.
72d Speak not in an unknown Tongue in Company but in your own Language and that as those of Quality do and not as the Vulgar; Sublime matters treat Seriously.73d Think before you Speak pronounce not imperfectly nor bring ou[t] your Words too hastily but orderly & distinctly.
74th When Another Speaks be attentive your Self and disturb not the Audience if any hesitate in his Words help him not nor Prompt him without desired, Interrupt him not, nor Answer him till his Speec[h] be ended.
75th In the midst of Discourse ask [not of what one treateth] but if you Perceive any Stop because of [your coming you may well intreat him gently] to Proceed: If a Person of Quality comes in while your Conversing it's handsome to Repeat what was said before.
76th While you are talking, Point not with your Finger at him of Whom you Discourse nor Approach too near him to whom you talk especially to his face.
77th Treat with men at fit Times about Business & Whisper not in the Company of Others.
78th Make no Comparisons and if any of the Company be Commended for any brave act of Vertue, commend not another for the Same.
79th Be not apt to relate News if you know not the truth thereof. In Discoursing of things you Have heard Name not your Author always A [Se]cret Discover not.
80th Be not Tedious in Discourse or in reading unless you find the Company pleased therewith.
81st Be not Curious to Know the Affairs of Others neither approach those that Speak in Private.
82d Undertake not what you cannot Perform but be Carefull to keep your Promise.83d When you deliver a matter do it without Passion & with Discretion, howev[er] mean the Person be you do it too.
84th When your Superiours talk to any Body hearken not neither Speak nor Laugh.
85th In Company of these of Higher Quality than yourself Speak not ti[l] you are ask'd a Question then Stand upright put of your Hat & Answer in few words.
86 In Disputes, be not So Desireous to Overcome as not to give Liberty to each one to deliver his Opinion and Submit to the Judgment of the Major Part especially if they are Judges of the Dispute.
[87th Let thy carriage be such] as becomes a Man Grave Settled and attentive [to that which is spoken. Contra]dict not at every turn what others Say.
88th Be not tedious in Discourse, make not many Digressigns, nor rep[eat] often the Same manner of Discourse.89th Speak not Evil of the absent for it is unjust.
90 Being Set at meat Scratch not neither Spit Cough or blow your Nose except there's a Necessity for it.
91st Make no Shew of taking great Delight in your Victuals, Feed no[t] with Greediness; cut your Bread with a Knife, lean not on the Table neither find fault with what you Eat.
92 Take no Salt or cut Bread with your Knife Greasy.
93 Entertaining any one at table it is decent to present him wt. meat, Undertake not to help others undesired by the Master.
4th If you Soak bread in the Sauce let it be no more than what you [pu]t in your Mouth at a time and blow not your broth at Table [bu]t Stay till Cools of it Self.
th Put not your meat to your Mouth with your Knife in your ha[nd ne]ither Spit forth the Stones of any fruit Pye upon a Dish nor Cas[t an]ything under the table.
6 It's unbecoming to Stoop much to ones Meat Keep your Fingers clea[n &] when foul wipe them on a Corner of your Table Napkin.
th Put not another bit into your Mouth til the former be Swallowed [l]et not your Morsels be too big for the Gowls.
98th Drink not nor talk with your mouth full neither Gaze about you while you are a Drinking.
99th Drink not too leisurely nor yet too hastily. Before and after Drinking wipe your Lips breath not then or Ever with too Great a Noise, for its uncivil.100 Cleanse not your teeth with the Table Cloth Napkin Fork or Knife but if Others do it let it be done wt. a Pick Tooth.
101st Rince not your Mouth in the Presence of Others.
102d It is out of use to call upon the Company often to Eat nor need you Drink to others every Time you Drink.
103d In Company of your Betters be no[t longer in eating] than they are lay not your Arm but o[nly your hand upon the table].
104th It belongs to the Chiefest in Company to unfold his Napkin and fall to Meat first, But he ought then to Begin in time & to Dispatch [w]ith Dexterity that the Slowest may have time allowed him.
05th Be not Angry at Table whatever happens & if you have reason to be so, Shew it not but on a Chearfull Countenance especially if there be Strangers for Good Humour makes one Dish of Meat a Feas[t].
06th Set not yourself at the upper of the Table but if it Be your Due or that the Master of the house will have it So, Contend not, least you Should Trouble the Company.
107th If others talk at Table be attentive but talk not with Meat in your Mouth.108th When you Speak of God or his Atributes, let it be Seriously & [wt.] Reverence. Honour & Obey your Natural Parents altho they be Poor.
109th Let your Recreations be Manfull not Sinfull.
110th Labour to keep alive in your Breast that Little Spark of Ce[les]tial fire Called Conscience.
John De Gree
John De Gree writes the current events with a look at the history of each topic. Articles are written for the young person, aged 10-18, and Mr. De Gree carefully writes so that all readers can understand the event. The perspective the current events are written in is Judeo-Christian.
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