Look On Top Of The Dome

If you carefully examine the top of the Capitol dome, you will discover the Statue of Freedom, originally named Freedom Triumphant in War and Peace. “The statue depicts a female figure wearing a military helmet and holding a sheathed sword in her right hand and a laurel wreath and shield in her left.”

Freedom is a huge bronze figure 19½ feet tall and weighing 15,000 pounds. Freedom faces east towards the main entrance of the building and the ‘rising Sun’, and she is very similar to Columbia. It’s hard to keep up with all of them.

At a cost of a mere $23,796.82 she was constructed, excluding the price of installation. Work was stopped in 1861 because of the Civil War (1861-1865), and in 1862 she was temporarily displayed on the grounds.

Ironically, Jefferson Davis then Mississippi senator, yes later to be Confederate president, was actually in charge of capitol construction. Davis was unhappy with the original liberty cap (similar to France’s bonnet rouge), and had them change it to a helmet. Just like the Madame Defarge character in the book A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.

She was cast in five main sections by Mills, whose bronze foundry was located on the outskirts of Washington, and instead of paying those high wages to the current foreman on hand, the task went to a slave, Philip Reid. Sounds like modern times doesn’t it?

William A Cox notes the following: “… the facts are that [Freedom's] successful taking apart and handling in parts as a model was due to the faithful service and genius of an intelligent negro in Washington named Philip Reed (sic), a mulatto slave owned by Mr. Clark Mill, and that much credit is due him for his faithful and intelligent services rendered in modeling and casting America’s superb Statue of Freedom, which kisses the first rays of the aurora of the rising sun as they appear upon the apex of the Capitol’s wonderful dome.” Emphasis mine.

The final section was raised on December 2, 1863, to a salute of 35 guns answered by the guns of the 12 forts around Washington.


Coming Up For Fresh Air

If there was an alleged tweet from the newly elected leader telling them to keep it, I wonder what the item was… An underwater drone perhaps? And did the newly elected leader tell them to keep it? Let them keep it he exclaimed in a tweet! Or did they steal it?

“On December 16, 2016, a Chinese warship seized an underwater drone that was in the process of being retrieved by the U.S. Navy ship USNS Bowditch. A day later, the Chinese Defense Ministry said it will return the drone to the United States.” That fish was just gathering weather data of course.

Amidst the friendly ongoing diplomatic dialogue there was an agreement to return the “unidentified equipment” back to the United States. China expresses its shared condolences in response to the Freedom of navigation code.

“It’s all about dominance,” award winning filmmaker John Pilger explained in a recent interview. Pilger said that during the cold war with Russia there were red lines that were made between the two countries. In the struggle between the U.S. and China those red lines are blurred.

One last question to ponder. Was the underwater drone made in China?


Fleet Week In Baltimore

You can bet your DUF6 that the big buzz was in Baltimore this past week. Why hex yeah, climb aboard the NS Savannah, the first nuclear-powered merchant ship. This was at a cost of $46.9 million, including a $28.3 million nuclear reactor and fuel core, all funded by United States government agencies. It’s Fleet Week in Baltimore.

The first Fleet Week was held in San Diego, California, during the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition.

With a program of $22.5 billion you get the “21st Century Destroyer”. Commissioned on October 15, 2016, the Navy debuts the futuristic USS Zumwalt, a one of a kind stealth marvel with the low radar profile. Can less really be more?

If it’s noise that you’re after you’d better speak up pal, because the Blue Angels are drowning you out. Yes, I’ve seen them in action also.