No Grounds for Divorce
July 4th, 2009 by Walter L. Bell, Ph.D.

My Lovely and Interesting Wife

Every person has interesting characteristics that you only learn about as you live with them over the years. My wife grew up in the South, as did my mother, so I understand the ways of looking at the world, particularly the emphasis on good manners, how to act in a social setting, and heaven forbid that any guest would come to your home and go away hungry.

I learned shortly after we got married that she is definitely not a morning person. I almost always am fully awake unless I have stayed up too late, or have had a particularly busy schedule from some task I had to complete. My wife does not like to talk in the morning, other than to say hello. She is a great cook. If she ever cooked something I didn’t like, I would never say a word because I don’t cook unless it is something very simple. My wife can cook any kind of ethnic dish without a problem. For example, I like hot and sour soup that you get in a Chinese restaurant. The problem is that some Chinese restaurants make very bad hot and sour soup, so I asked my wife to make some. We experimented with it, and I kept tasting it until she got is exactly to my liking. Breakfast is another situation altogether. She makes her own, and I make mine. Until she is fully awake, she cannot be trusted. That is the subject of this brief article.

One morning while we were traveling in our RV, my wife made coffee. Ordinarily she can perform this morning task without any problem. The coffee she made on the morning in question tasted great. I would not have known that anything was different until she started to clean the coffee maker and discovered that the filter had no grounds in it. It was slightly discolored, but that was all. We discussed what steps she had taken when she made the coffee. The only way you can have a cup of coffee without grounds is to start with cold water and instant coffee and heat in the microwave or pouring boiling water over instant coffee. However, neither way of making coffee with instant coffee yields a coffee that tastes like brewed coffee in a coffee maker. But, as my wife, in her usual zombie state when she first gets out of bed, discovered, instant coffee tastes exactly like regular brewed coffee made from ground coffee in a coffee maker.

So, if your wife makes an important discovery, even if by accident, forgive her. After all, very few people know that you can make coffee in a coffee maker with instant coffee. In fact I looked up information on instant coffee, and it is made from premium coffee beans. So if your wife ever makes a similar discovery remember it is no grounds for divorce.

Posted in Political and Historic Events, Technical and Scientific Discoveries, Uncategorized

Tags: Zombies in the Kitchen


Make Governmental Health Insurance Available for Everyone

As it now stands, we have the Medical Associations, Senators, Representatives, and Pharmaceutical firms all claiming we are headed for bankruptcy, socialism, and probably a satellite of China, if we provide health care for the rest of our citizens. Those 50 million citizens amount to the combined population of Canada and Australia. Of course we could easily finance the cost of Medical Insurance for all of our citizens if we would make it a mandatory five year sentence for any Representative, Senator, or any other governmental employee who receives money from outside sources to pay for a vote either for or against medical care. To raise the ante, we could make it a mandatory seven year sentence for any company or member of a Medical Company who contributes money pay for a vote.

I am certain that we could easily provide medical insurance for everyone without going bankrupt, becoming a satellite of China, by adopting the same medical insurance that Representatives and Senators now enjoy. We need to remove bribery as a way of life from the our elected and appointed officials, because bribery may in fact be a form of Socialism for the privileged members of our nation. It is hard to believe that one life is more important than another.

We as citizens must make our voices heard and tell our members of Congress that we expect them to forgo accepting bribes for votes. The health of our citizens should be as important as their own health.


The Feudal System Is Alive and Well in the United States

The recent turmoil in the financial markets stem from changes brought about during the Reagan Administration and culminating with the Clinton Administration. If the word derivative has any meaning to you, you are in the minority because much of the present and past Congress and Senate do not seem to have a clue. This financial instrument came about as the result of the deregulation efforts brought about by the Republican Party under Reagan and under the advice of people like Arthur Laffer and Allan Greenspan. During his Presidency, the national debt went from $700 billion to $3 trillion. A recent news report, that I cannot substantiate, stated that Reagan borrowed $1 trillion from the Social Security Trust Fund telling Greenspan that no one would ever find out about the transaction. His notable activity leading to a renewal of the Feudal System started with the firing of 11,345 air traffic controllers when they went on strike for better wages and especially better working conditions. It is ironic, that Reagan, who was once President of the Screen Actors Guild which was in reality a union, turned against unions. Doing away with unions has been the mantra of the Republican Party ever since. In the last primary contest every Republican candidate repeated Reagan’s name as if this was the high point of all the the Party had achieved throughout its existence.

The unions whose origins began in Europe in the 1830’s were brought about to improve the conditions of laboring men, women, and children in the textile industries and mines, primarily in Great Britain. As the United States grew into an industrial power, the robber baron era of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s gave little thought to the plight of the workers. The desire by the workers gave rise to the formation of unions in the 1920’s and 1930’s with the owners of the corporations doing everything they could to intimidate the workers who wanted to join a union and have some say in their working conditions, pay and retirement. Much of the benefits won by the unions including safety features in the work environment, pay, retirement, and health care have slowly eroded for several reasons. People became complacent and forgot or never knew how the job benefits were achieved. Areas such as state and municipal workers including teachers from K-14 grew to become the dominant unions at the present time, while industrial workers under union contracts have declined. The days when John L. Lewis could call a coal miners strike and paralyze the nation have passed. Also, the illegal behavior of the union bosses, particularly, the longshoreman’s union have not helped. With the rise of the high tech industries , the unions either did not try or were unable to get enough interested people willing to form a union. As seen in the latest scandals involving the giant insurance companies such as AIG the robber barons have arisen once more. We once again have a feudal system in the United States.

Under a feudal system the workers have little or no rights under the system run by the corporations or the individuals they work for, and they can be fired, laid off, or transferred without cause if they have no one to represent them, and in order to have representation, you either have to have the money to hire an attorney or a union to hire the attorney for you. With no union representation, particularly in an economy such as the one we are currently experiencing, the workers in high tech, in banking, in the insurance industry, and in the auto industry have no one to look out for their interests. It is interesting that the Senators and Representatives in the Southern States, particularly in the Republican Party, have fought to prevent federal funds from being distributed to the auto industry. Only Ford, GM, and Chrysler have alliances with labor unions. The Southern States auto companies, Honda, BMW, Mercedes, Toyota and others I may have forgotten, do not have labor unions. Labor unions change the social and political equation from one of feudalism to one where the laboring class and low paid professionals can climb the economic ladder, receive pensions, and health care for life, as well as invest in IRA’s and other financial instruments to supplement their income in retirement. If labor unions are strong and viable, there is no longer a special class of wealthy people who can hold the rest of humanity hostage while they enjoy both economic and political privileges. In the South, the reason for this attitude is that, from the time of slavery to the present, the South has supported a kind of feudal system whereby the working class has been without labor rights and representation. This same lack of labor and legal support for workers has crept to the Northern States, as well , and led to the decline of textile mills, furniture companies, steel mills, and industrial plants of all kinds. The crowning blow to this situation, was the rise of NAFTA and other free trade agreements whereby all the countries involved were going to open up free trade and the world was going to be a rosy place for all. What has happened is the the American worker has been forgotten in all of this. We have outsourced our industrial base to any place in the world where there are no labor laws and where labor is cheap. We have given companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Ford, Chrysler, GM, GE, to name a few, tax incentives to set up plants all over the world. We are no longer the great industrial power we once were, and if we ever have to fight a World War again we will not have the industrial base to support such a war nor the workers trained to work in these industries.

I want to include a disclaimer here in that I do not place all the blame on the Republican Party, because much of the outsourcing started in the Clinton Presidency, and the joint action of both Political Parties, North and South, worked against the US workers in NAFTA and in 1999 abolished the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 which prevented Insurance Companies and Banks from selling securities. Not only were banks and insurance companies allowed to sell securities, but a brilliant woman, Brooksley Born, was removed from the Commodities Trading Commission because she insisted that there needed to be margin requirements for a newly named commodity called derivatives. On the advice and urging of Allen Greenspan, Robert Rubin, and Larry Summers(currently one of Barack Obama’s economic advisors), Arther Levitt fired Brooksley Born because she insisted that derivatives were commodity instruments and should be under the commodities laws which would have required margin requirements just as you have to post when you buy a future on a commodity such as feeder cattle. Rubin stated that money was not a commodity which is very interesting because one can buy both gold and silver through a commodity account, but you do have to stipulate a margin for such an account.

In a book by Saul K. Padover, Jefferson, published in 1942, he tells about Jefferson’s time spent in Europe as a roving ambassador prior to the French Revolution. Jefferson stated that while he had made friends with many of the leading families in Europe, he was glad to return to his home in Virginia where he could interact freely with people of all economic levels. In Europe, he found that about 1% of the citizens had 99 % of the wealth while the rest of the population was barely above the starvation level. In Jefferson’s fight against the Federalist Party, to which Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito belongs, it was the same haves and have more group that President George Bush referred to in his speech about four years ago. The only people deserving of the rights and freedoms of this great nation were the wealthy. Anyone belonging to a labor union was responsible for our present inability to compete with the rest of the nations of the world, so that it was necessary to ship all of our manufacturing overseas and allow the other 99% of the population to sink to the level of the population of Europe during the feudal system.

We even approached the same level of censorship under Bush with his misuse of the FISA Act as we did under the Federalist Party when President John Adams and his cohorts in the Federalist Party tried to reinstate the privileges of the Royalty through the passage of the Alien and Sedition Act of 1978, to prevent any criticism of the second president. This act allowed the President to expel all those whom he should “judge dangerous to the peace and safety of the United States,” or should have “reasonable grounds to suspect are concerned in any treasonable or secret machinations against the government.” The Sedition Act provided for a fine of no more than $2000.00 and a term of prison of no more than two years. When President Adams and the Federalists introduced the pomp and circumstance of Royalty, Thomas Jefferson, his Secretary of State, quietly, via letters and other writings, set about the task of rallying the Republican cause of strengthening the principles set forth in the Declaration of Independence(note, my reference to the Republican cause does not mean the same as the current Republican Party of today which was created by the demise of the Whig Party.) Various newspapers published articles stating that they had no respect for Adams and could not support the Federalist attempt to reintroduce a monarchy. The result was the passage of the Alien and Sedition Act of 1798, which allowed the President to expel all those whom he should “judge dangerous to the peace and safety of the United States,” or should have “reasonable grounds to suspect are concerned in any treasonable or secret machinations against the government.” This sounds very much like the reasons set forth by President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney in their misuse of the FISA act in spying on both U.S. citizens and aliens.

The choice of who to try under the Alien and Sedition Act was interesting, and even more interesting were the Supreme Court Justices chosen to try the cases. The first person to be convicted, in October 1798, was Matthew Lyon, a Congressman from Vermont, born in Ireland, with a record as a patriot and soldier in Washington’s army. His crime was to criticize the pomp of Adam’s administration and its continual grasp for power. William Patterson, Justice of the Supreme Court, tried this case and one other related to it. The second case, with the same judge and jury, was Anthony Haswell, Editor of the “Vermont Gazette”, who had written that Lyon was brutally treated by the Marshal who had arrested him. Haswell was born in England and the father of thirteen children. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase tried two of the cases under this law. The third man to be convicted was Thomas Cooper, and English born educator and scientist, who did little more than make general remarks about President Adams. In the fourth case, Justice Chase was arrogant, rude, and dictatorial. In one instance he made jokes about the counsels involved with the defense, and told others to shut up and sit down. This case involved the indictment and the conviction of a Virginian, James Thomas Callender, a Scottish born political writer, for the grave crime of criticizing President Adams. The case was sensational because Callender was defended by three of the best lawyers in Virgina–William Wirt, Thomas Nicolas and George Hay who quit in disgust because of the behavior of the Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase.

As a sequel to this sad saga, Thomas Jefferson, who was Vice President under President Adams, succeeded Adams as President and took steps to have Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase impeached and removed from office. Jefferson described the impeachment process a farce when Chase was found not guilty. In my lifetime, I have listened in detail to the McCarthy hearings on the radio, to the President Nixon hearings on TV, to the attempted impeachment and indictment of President William Jefferson Clinton, and read about the misuse of power through signing statements by President George W. Bush, which allowed him to ignore the FISA Court, and any other laws he did not like. President Bush used the signing statements more than all of the other Presidents combined–I have heard of numbers of 480 to over 1000 signing statements. He frequently cited Supreme Court Justice Samuel Allito’s paper on the Unitary Executive Theory, in which Allito wrote, “Congress, to be sure, has a substantial and essential role in both foreign affairs and national security. But it is crucial to recognize that judicial interference in these domains destroys the purposes of vesting primary responsibility in a unitary Executive.” As a sitting judge on the federal bench, Judge Alito advocated his personal legal view supporting executive theory before the Federalist Society in the year 2000. He also wrote a memo while in the Reagan Administration recommending the expansion of presidential power through an increased use of presidential signing statements which allows a president to effectively ignore or alter laws passed by Congress and increase Presidential Powers and diminish those of the Congress.

As a nation, we have a problem in trying to preserve the democratic principles to which we all tacitly adhere and at the same time keep a proper balance between the coequal branches of our government. We cannot allow any branch of the government to assume powers without the consent of the citizens of this nation. The Supreme Court should never have assumed the power to appoint a President just because the State of Florida or Ohio choose to ignore the right of our citizens to vote in the 2000 election and the 2004 election respectively. We need to change our election laws so that one does not have to be wealthy in order to hold public office, or allow corporations the hold any branch of our government hostage by bribing members of Congress, the Executive, or the Supreme Court. We need to allow the working class to form unions without intimidation by Corporate executives, because without labor unions representing the workers we will continue to allow the wealthy to treat their workers as slaves or serfs as has been common in many countries throughout history. Each generation must work to preserve the benefits attained in previous generations and not assume that those benefits have always been present. If our so called multinational corporations allow China to dictate that their citizens working for such corporations must be allowed to form unions, then any multinational corporations who does so must be required to allow their stateside workers to form unions. Lastly, if we are to remain a democratic and sovereign nation we must be willing to pass and enforce laws which benefit the working class and not just the wealthy. A case in point is the solvency of the Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. We should not allow those persons who earn more than $100,000 dollars to be exempt from paying Social Security benefits on amounts greater than $100,000. To change this one benefit enjoyed by the wealthy, the Social Security System would be financially solvent. Even the wealthy can draw Social Security benefits, so they should have to pay according to their income.


I have two older sisters and a nephew who spent years compiling a history of my fraternal relatives, the Bells, and my maternal relatives, the Rankins. I was only mildly interested and would spend a small amount of time reading the genealogical record they produced. Over the past five years since I have had time to do some research of my own I have become very interested because as you read about the ancestors, you begin to understand that human history repeats in the form of triumphs, tragedies, successes and failures. We not only share genetic material but psychic tendencies as well. For example, my fraternal family came from Northern Ireland to Virginia, and began to expand south as well as west. Some were killed by the British and some by Indians. We always thought we were of Irish descent, but because of the trouble between Cromwell and James I, much of Northern Ireland was depopulated. As a result, Northern Ireland was open to settlement from Scotland. The Scots were primarily Protestant while the Irish were Catholic which later led to the killing on both sides by the Protestant and Catholic factions of Northern Ireland. When the Scots were defeated by Cromwell’s Army at the Battle of Dunbar, many of the leaders were started on a forced march to the South of England, and like the Cherokee Indians, in the forced march known as the Trail of Tears, many died during the march and during captivity. My wife’s ancestor, Ninian Beall, was one of the captured leaders of the Scots. He was sent to Barbados and served four years in prison before coming to the area now known as Washington. DC. He served five more years as an indentured servant and was given fifty acres of land at the end of his servitude. By the end of his life, he owned seven square miles of land in what is now known as Washington D.C., served as a Col in the Militia. Either he or one of his sons built the mansion that Jacquelin Kennedy lived in for a year after President John Kennedy was assassinated.

The Scots were scattered worldwide many going to Australia and the Americas. The ones staying in Great Britain, became leaders in medicine, teaching, finance and many other professions requiring advanced education. During the Cromwell era, the Royalists were scattered as well with many of them coming to Maryland and Virginia for their own safety. My first known relative, a John Bell came as a stowaway on a ship, probably to escape from Cromwell’s tyranny. He married Ann Bennett, member of a prominent Virginia family. There are two distinguishing characteristics of the early families to their new homeland, one they acquired vast tracks of land and two they had large families. My ancestor and his new wife were given a large track of land by the Bennett family. This trend continued as the families moved westward on both sides of my family and my wife’s family. Another interesting pattern was the marriage of first cousins and the marriage of two or more brothers marrying sisters in a neighboring family. My wife’s mother and two of her sisters, of the Goss family, married three brothers of the McGehee family. These same patterns happened in my family as well. Cousins born into these families are referred to as double cousins. They often have similar medical problems and other similar traits because they share more genetic material than normal cousins. I do not know if any double first cousins intermarried, but I would certainly hope not.

When my nephew, retired from teaching, he started his own genealogical business. He had much experience and was able to gather information on my wife’s family and found that our ancestors had intermarried. A McGehee married a Borum on my side of the family. I grew up in Oregon, and my wife, Doris McGehee Bell grew up in Mississippi. but we met in Oregon. My Mother grew up in Jonesboro, Arkansas and my wife’s Mother in Greenwood, Mississippi. These two communities are only 150 miles apart and both in what is known as the Mississippi Delta. However travel was limited for most families, so communications were also limited. Another limiting factor is researching ancestry are the changes in spelling. Bell and McGehee have many variations so that from one generation to another the spellings may change from Bell to Beall to Beal, etc.

Many emigrants to this country were at the mercy of the census taker whose spelling was poor or who could not understand either the dialect or the language spoken by the immigrant. If one looks at writings in early American , the spelling was not standardized.

The practice of having large families was necessary in order to manage the large tracks of land and also because so many children did not survive to adulthood. My paternal grandfather had eleven or twelve children, but only three survived. His first wife died after having nine children with one daughter surviving and one who was born blind and raised by another member of the family. He then married a second time to a young woman who was a friend of his eldest daughter and also the same age. His second wife was supposedly part Cherokee, but this is primarily oral tradition. She had two children and two miscarriages and died in her twenties. It was not uncommon for the men to have two, three or four wives by the time they died. One of the common ancestors of my wife and I have had twelve children by her mid-thirties and died. Her husband married again and had more children.

Like many families who had ancestors living in both the North and South, we very likely had family members fighting against each other. The conflict we have been having this past six years is only a continuing saga in human history. Finally, the Scots have continued the tradition of scholarly achievement in the United States and have held public offices in all branches of government and in the professions. My family has a long tradition in teaching as well as military service. If I remember this fact correctly, about two thirds of the leaders in this nation are descendants of Scots, so Cromwell may have done a great service in sending them on their way from England. I have a book of note: Sir Robert Bell and His Early Virginia Colony Descendants, by James Elton Bell and Frances Jean Bell(2007).
Kentucky Ancestry: A Guide to Genealogical and Historical Researchby: Roseann Reinemuth Hogan
Scottish Ancestry: Research Methods for Family Historians Revised 2nd Edition
Tracing your Scottish Ancestry Third Editionby: Kathleen B. Cory, Leslie Hodgson
Plantagenet Ancestry: A Study In Colonial And Medieval Families (Royal Ancestry) by: Douglas Richardson; Kimball G. Everingham
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I have my own blog, actually two blogs. I might very well consider dedicating one of those blogs to book reviews and another to genealogical research. Of course I would like to monetize them to support my hobby. I could easily start with my own library and expand from there. I have many topics in mind including reincarnation, utopian novels, zen philosophies, several books such as writings by Kahlil Gibran which are out of print but not out of mind,
I lean to reincarnation, because it is the most logical. It is not a continuation of life from one point, i.e., birth , but a continuation of past, present, and future. I would hate to think as some scientists claim that we are nothing but a combination of atoms and that thought is merely a chemical process. If you consider scientific thought and look at persons such as Einstein, or children born with information that they could not have acquired in such a short span of time, it creates doubt that we live only one life. In fact thought may be the ultimate reality.

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I do not know about you, but when someone uses an ethnic stereotype or any other stereotype, I wonder if we as a group of creatures known as human beings will ever learn to trust one another. Warfare has been the primary method of eliminating anyone who is different from us whether it is their religion, tribe, color of skin or any other excuse. During my lifetime, I have lived through World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Cold War, ethnic cleansing in what was once Yugoslavia, and presently the war in Afganistan, and Iraq. We currently have two Presidential Candidates who have radically different ideas on how to end these wars. One thinks winning the war with honor is important, but we got into the last war in Iraq, dishonorably so how can be get out of the war honorably? One candidate, John McCain, stated on Larry King’s show about three years ago that we should not have a draft because we were not well served by draftees, but he must have forgotten or never knew that most of the enlistees in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War were enlistees only after they got their draft notices and then signed up for the branch of service of their choice to escape being assigned to a branch not to their liking, the infantry, for example. I wrote to John McCain, after that interview with Larry King, and asked him how he came to that conclusion, since his way was paid for by taxpayer money at the Naval Academy. It was only by chance that he was shot down and spent five years in Hanoi Hilton as a prisoner of war. He might have been killed, just as the enlistee or the draftee, could have been killed, and if they were killed then dead is dead. A bullet or a bomb does not stop and seek out only the draftee.

In my family, my father served in the Navy in World War I, a Greek brother-in-law, served in the Army Air Corp in World War II, a Hispanic brother-in-law served in the Korean War and the Vietnam War, was a DI in the Marine Corp, and was sent to Texas to tell the the Spanish Speaking residents that their son had been killed in action. I had a cousin of Scottish descent who was a Naval Academy graduate and served on board a ship in World War II. No one cared or asked their ethnic, political, or religious background before, during, or after the wars they served in. No one asked how they happened to be serving in the military or how it happened that someone they knew either never served or never served in combat. In my case, I served in the National Guard and later in the US Army in a Helicopter Company. I served honorably, had only one three day pass, primarily because I had several jobs I performed, and yes I was a draftee. I got a deferment to finish college, which meant that I would get drafted once I finished college, and I served honorably and well even though I was a draftee.

John McClain was asked if he resented the treatment he received from George Bush in the 2000 campaign, because Bush lied about him in that campaign. He told Larry King that he forgave Bush because every politician lies and cheats during an election. So are we well served by a graduate of the Naval Academy, who is not supposed to lie or cheat, yet decides it is the correct thing to do when running for and is elected to a public office such as as the United States Senate? What happens when his opponent is of mixed race, white and black? If you come to think of it, my family is certainly mixed. Both sides of my family came from Scotland to the Colonies to escape persecution by the English. But the British Isles were constantly being invaded throughout their history so they were certainly not ethnically pure. We have found out recently that President Thomas Jefferson supposedly had a black mistress, although later reports point to his uncle as the one who had a black mistress, not Jefferson. He happens to be a relative of mine. In fact, at one time, many of my relatives were large land owners in what later became the Southern States. Many of these relatives had slaves at one time when the rum, slave and cotton trade became profitable. I am very certain that some of my slave owning relatives had black mistresses. There are certainly a good number of U.S. citizens who have my last name as their last name. The same is true of my wife, who is also a distant relative of mine. She thinks her paternal grandmother was probably part Choctaw Indian. My fraternal grandmother was part Cherokee Indian. So I have trouble keeping my ethnicity pure, and I have trouble knowing which ethnic group to hate. Maybe I should just accept all ethnic groups as deserving of respect.

General Colin Powell commented that even if Barack Obama were Muslim rather than Christian, which he is not, would that along with his Black and White heritage, make him unfit to become President of the United States? He had just read about a Muslim Soldier who had served honorably in Iraq and had been killed in the line of duty. His parents are U.S. citizens and certainly were grieving for him as would any parents regardless of their race or ethnicity. I hope we are ready for Presidents of many different backgrounds. This nation was founded upon the principles of religious freedom and civil freedom if I remember correctly.

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