All posts by tomboughan

About tomboughan

I live in rural TN, trying to keep my sanity.

One Neon summer moon night

The cool breeze was a relief
From the hot summer day.
The neon moon came up.
My buddies and I heard of a party
Down the road.
We stopped at red neon lettered store and got
Some beer. Then my buddies started talking
About some mundane stuff. I sat
On the pew outside holding the six pack.
I was getting sleepy from their conversation.
” Come on, we got to go.” said I.
‘Shut up! We are talking grown up stuff here.”
Said one of my buddies.
I was about to sleep,
When one of my buddies shook me up.
“Let’s go,” said he.
I heard the frogs and kingfishers nearby.
Men and women inside the ranch house.
Booze all around.
I connected with a pretty gal
And we played some card game.
Before I knew it, my buddies wanted to go.
” But I didn’t get her name.”
One of my buddies knew her and said she was so- and so.
Yet, no numbers exchanged, so much a hurry my buddies left.


Stop Moving

When my daughter was little,
She would come up to me
With brush and hair tie.
“Braid my hair, Daddy,”
She would say.
Then, she would look at me
With adoring eyes
While I brush her hair
And part it three ways.
Then, I would start to braid.
She would move her head
To get a better view of me
With adoring eyes.
“Stop moving around,”
I would say.
Finally, my then wife took over
Braiding her hair.
As I watched her grow up,
Sometimes I would be tempted
To say, “Stop moving.”


Giuseppi Garibaldi was born 1807, died in 1882. He was declared Father of the Fatherland after his death. He was born in Nice, France of Italian parents. After 1814,Nice became part of Vienna and Austro-Hungarian Empire. His family moved to Sardinia. His family were sea merchants and he followed in their footsteps. He became a merchant marine captain in 1832.
In Russia, in 1833, he met Giovanni Cuneo, who, in turned, introduced to the secret society, Young Italians, which was lead by Giuseppe Mazzini. Mazzini wanted an united Italy, under Republican rule. From then on Garibaldi swore to unite Italy into a liberal Republic. Austria dominated northern Italy. Later that year, he met Mazzini in Geneva, Switzerland. Mazzini had him jopin another secret society, The Carboneri. He joined Mazzini in a failed attempt to create an insurrection in the Piedmont. Genoa sentenced him to death. He fled to Marseilles.
From there, he went to Tunisia. Then to Brazil. He joined the Ragmuffins, a radical group in Brazil. There he met Ana de Silva, his future wife. She fought by his side during their whole marriage.
In 1841, he and Anita (his name for her) moved to Monte Video, Uruguay. He worked there as a trader and schoolmaster. The couple married a year later. They had 4 children. Anita was a skilled horse woman and taught Garibaldi how to be a gaucho. Around this time, he wore a red shirt, poncho, and sombrero, which he was known for the rest of his life.
In 1842, he formed the Italian Legion of Italian refugees in Uruguay. They were also known as The Red Shirts. The Italian Legion flew a black flag.
In 1844, he was initiated into Freemasonry in Uruguay. At the time, Latin American Masons made asylums for Europeans fleeing from their countries. Later, he became Grand Master of his Masonic Lodge, The Grand Orient of Italy.
Pope Pius IX was elected and promised reforms in 1846.
In 1849, Garlbaldi led a revolt in Palermo with 60 of Legion. From there, he went on to the Piedmont, Lombardy, Milan. It was the First Italian War of Independence. He went to the Papal States that claimed to be a Republic. Louis Napoleon ( Napoleon III) toppled over the Republic of Rome. Garibaldi went to Rome to defend it against the French.
In 1849, The Italian Republican Army under Garibaldi defeated the French, but the French came back and sieged Rome. Garibaldi escaped to the Apennines. Garibaldi was hunted down by the French, Austrians, Spanish, and Naples. He fled north to Venice. There, he fought the Austrians. His wife, Anita, died, giving birth to their 5th child.
Garibaldi went on to Tunisia. There, he returned to sea trading. He purchased his ship in NYC. Antonio Meucci had hired him as a candlestick maker in Staten Island.
In 1851, he left NYC for Central America. From there, he went on to Lima, Peru. There he met the revolutionary heroine,Manuela Saenz. He had commanded a trade ship, then. It had stopped at Chincha Island for guano. He went on to Canton, China, Manila, Philippines, India, Australia, Cape Horn, Chili, Boston and back to NYC.
Then, he left for Europe in 1853. He went to England. He went to Genoa in 1854. He settled down as a farmer in Caparera.
In 2nd Italian War of Independence in 1859, he was appointed as Major General of Italian Republican Army. He won victories over Austrians. Meanwhile, French surrendered Nice to Italy.
In 1860, he married Giuseppini Raimadi. That lasted a day.
He led uprisings in Messia and Palermo. He left Genoa to Marsala, Sicily with his Red Shirts. He declared himself as Dictator of Sicily. He had help from the British Royal Navy. He went on to Naples.
He retired to his farm in Caprera. He was commissioned as Major General, again.
In 1861, he set up the International Legion of Poles, Swiss, and Genoans to form Republics from Adriatic to the Baltic.
He went to Papal States and attacked Rome where Napoleon III held it. His motto was Rome or Death. He defeated Napoleon.
In 1866,Autro-Prussian War broke. Italy sided with the Prussians and Garibaldi volunteered in the Italian Army.
He came back to Rome, where French took over again. There, he was wounded and taken prison by the French. Garibaldi was released. He sought to end the Papacy.
Franco-Prussian War of 1870. The Italian Army captured the Papal states. Garibaldi supported the French 3rd Republic.
In 1879, he founded the League of Democracy.He pushed for universal suffrage, abolition of ecclesial property, emancipation of women. In 1880, he married for last time to Francisca Armosino. He contracted arthritis soon after. He died in 1882.

Giordano Bruno

Giordano Bruno was born 1548 in the Kingdom of Naples There he was tutored privately by Augustinian monks. At age 7, he joined the Dominican Order. His metaphysics teacher was Giordo Crispo. He completed his novitiate and became ordained priest by 1572 at the age of 24. He developed art of memory techniques that served him well throughout his life. He went to Rome and showed it to Pope Pius V. He went on and wrote the book On the Ark of Noah and dedicated it to the pope.
Later, he developed a taste of the occult and forbidden books. He threw away images of saints and kept the Cross. He defended the Arian heresy that there is no Trinity and Jesus was not equal to God the Father. He even doubted the divinity of Jesus. Bruno took the banned book of Erasmus and annotated it. His copy of Erasmus book was found in a privy. He left Naples amidst indictments of heresy against him. He shed his Dominican robe.
In 1576, he went to Genoa, Savona, Turin, and Venice. There he published his book On Sign of the Times. Then, he went on to Padua. There he met fellow Dominicans and they convinced him to wear his habit, again. He went to Bergamo, crossed the Alps to Chambery and Lyon.
He went to Geneva in 1579. He entered his name in the Rector’s book at University of Geneva.. He did not accept Calvinism that he found there. He made himself a pair of breeches. He was given a sword, hat, cape, and other necessities by supporters. He attacked the prominent professor at University of Geneva, Professor Antoine de la Faye. He and his printer was arrested for what he published. He left Geneva.
He went on to Lyon, France, then to Toulouse in 158-81. He took a doctorate in theology while there. From there, he moved to Paris. His contemporaries thought his excellent memory was due to magic, but it was his mnemic system. King Henry III was impressed. He dedicated his next book to King Henry III.
In 1583, Bruno went on to England as a guest of the French ambassador Michel de Castelnan. There he became acquainted with the poet Philip Sydney, who, in turn, the Hermetic Order under court magician John Dee.
He lectured at Oxford. He met George Abbot, who later became Archbishop of Canterbury. Abbot mocked Bruno’s acceptance of Copernicus idea of Sun being center. Giordano, also, believed there are other solar systems. Stars are suns with planets revolving around them. That there might be life on other planets and that the heavens are infinite.
John Bosry accused Bruno of being a spy who was spying on Catholics for Queen Elizabeth and going under name of Henry Fagot. That wasn’t true.
An English scientist, Thomas Digger, had proposed the Universe was infinite in 1576. Bruno heard of it and adopted it.
In 1585, the French embassy was attacked by a mole. Bruno escaped to Paris. There he put up theories against Aristotelian natural science.
In 1586, he led a quarrel against scientist Fabriza Mordento and invented a differential compass. The argument against Mordento put him out of favor of the French king. So he went to Germany. He taught at Wittenberg. He lectured on Aristotle for next two years. Then, he moved to Prague in 1588. He received a salary of 300 talers a year, but no position under Rudolf II. He went on to Helmstat, but fled again when he was excommunicated by local Lutherans.
He wrote a book on magic 1589-90.
In 1590, he went to Frankfurt. He got invitation to Venice at a book fair there by Giovanni Mocenigo. He went first to Padua, where he heard there was a mathematics teaching position there, but Galileo got the position.
Bruno came to Venice in 1592. He became a private tutor to Mocenigo. Mocenigo was unhappy with Bruno and denounced him to the local Inquisition. He was charged with blasphemy and heresy. He admitted he had some doubts about church dogma. Bruno was transferred to Rome by 1593. There, he was confined Tower of Dona for 7 years.. He admitted to charges that he doubted the virginity of Mary and claimed to plurality of life in other worlds. He believed in reincarnation, dealings with magic and the occult. He denied the divinity of Jesus. He believed in Averroes’ Arabic astrology.
On January 1, 1600, Pope Clement VIII declared Bruno a heretic and the Inquisition gave him sentence of death. They pierced his tonque and burned him at the stake. His ashes was thrown into the Tiber River. One of his Inquistors became Pope Paul V. Johannes Kepler and Tycho Brahe were his contemporaries.

George Berkeley

George Berkeley was born in Ireland in 1685.mHe died in Oxford, England in 1753.
He graduated from Trinity College and stayed as Greek lecturer and tutor.
His first book was on mathematics.
His second book was An Essay toward New Theory of Vision was controversial theory on optics.
His next book was A Treatise Concerning Principles of Human Knowledge, which was the beginning of his philosophy. He wrote that nothing exists out of the mind. Our world depend on our perceptions. Of course he met ridicule over it. The old saw, “If a tree falls and no one hears, does it make a sound?” He would answer, ” No.”
He went to England in 1714. From there he took tours around Europe. In England, he earned a Doctorate of Divinity degree. He returned to Ireland and Trinity College in Dublin. There, he taught divinity and Hebrew.
In 1721, he was madeDean. Esther Vanhornrigh declared him heir of her fortunes, though neither had met each other. It was through dealings with her estate, he met Jonathan Swift, a friend of hers. They became close friends in 1725. Berkely used the money from the estate and went to Bermuda. There, he founded a college for the Native Americans. It was also training for ministers and missionaries. That same year, he married Anne Foster. Then, he went on to Newport, Rhode Island. He bought with him John Similient, America’s first portrait artist.
He ran out funds in 1732 and returned to London. There he created The Foundlings, a hospital for homeless children.
In 1734, he became Bishop of Cloyne, Ireland. There, he wrote many uses of pine tar, including as a panacea for many diseases.
He saw everything as spirit. The spirit produce and perceives ideas. God is immediate cause of All. He died in 1753.

John J. Pershing

John .J. Pershing was born in 1860. He became president and captain of his West Point Class of 1186. He was nearby when Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890 happened. He did not participate, but was there to clean up afterwards. He served in Spanish-American War of 1899. He went on to Filipino War of 1906-13. Then, he lead an expedition against Pancho Villa in 1916. It was first use of Twentieth Century weapons and vehicles. It was also first use of tanks. In 1917, Woodrow Wilson appointed him head of US force in Europe during World War I. He helped integrate the Allie Forces and got Germany to surrender. US and allies had made armistice treaty with Germany, though Pershing wanted complete and unconditional surrender. The Armistice was signed on Nov. 11 on the 11th hour. After the war, he served Army Chief of Staff from 1922-24.
Back in 1897, he had returned to West Point and became head of West Point discipline. The cadets resented him and called him “Nigger Jack” or “Black Jack”. A derogatory term. But it stuck after he lead an African-American force, The Tenth Cavalry, up San Juan Hill,Cuba in Spanish- American War.
He was described as being ” cool as cracked rice.
He married Helen Frances Warren, daughter of chairman of Senate Military Affairs Committee in 1905. He was friends with Teddy Roosevelt during Spanish-American War. Roosevlet made him Brigadier General and to appoint him to pursue Pancho Villa.
Pershing made George C. Marshall head of staff in 1940.During WW1, he had blacks go to the French to fight Germans, because the American forces did not want blacks with them. He was mentor to Dwight Eisenhower, Omar Bradley, George Patton, and Douglas C. MacArthur.
Pershing was a teacher at African-American school briefly in Laclede, Missouri in 1878. In 1880, he attended North Missouri Normal School, now Truman State University. He went to West Point in 1882. He was with West Point Honor Guard that escorted body of U.S. Grant to his funeral.
In 1886, he was at Bayard, New Mexico, with the Sixth Calvary. He made several attacks against the Apaches.
In 1890, he was North Dakota fighting the Lakotas. After Wounded Knee on January 1, 1891, his supply wagons were attacked by Chief War Eagle and his Lakotas. He saw a ghost dance campaign in 1895, while he was command of 10th Calvary, Buffalo soldiers. The same calvary he led in Spanish-American War.
He was an observer of Japanese in Manchuria in 1905. He died in 1948.

The Last Emperor of Korea

Sujong was second and last emperor of Korea. He was born on 1874. He was fourth son of Emperor Gojong. He was of the Yi Dynasty.
In 1882, he married Crown Princess Min, who had Chinese ties. His father established the empire in 1897. Then, Gojong was deposed by Japanese in 1907.Also in 1907 was the Russo-Japanese War.Sujong took over as Emperor soon afterwards. He signed the Japanese Korean Treaty in that same year. This allowed Japanese ministers to supervise Korean affairs. Queen Min will not have any of this and she divorced from Sujong. The Korean Army was dismissed in 1909.Queen Min brought in Chinese advisors. Japan planned to annex Korea. Japan and Russia negotiated over Manchuria and Korea. China had last emperor of China. Ito, the Japanese negotiator was assassinated by Korean activists in Harbin, Manchuria. This made Japan put in an occupational force in Korea. The Japan-Korea Treaty of 1910 allowed Japan to take over Korea, the Emperor resigned. He and his second wife, Empress Sunjeong, lived rest of their lives in prison in Leabil, Korea. His father died in 1919, which sent off a Korean student rebellion. Japanese eased off some its control in Korea.Sujong and his two wives (not Min among them) were in the prison island until his death in 1926, which started another Korean rebellion that Japanese put down. Japanese controlled Korea until 1945.

Emperor Gojong of Korea

He was born in 1852 and became the 26th king of Joseon Dynasty and first emperor of Korea. Under Gojong, he increased isolation from France and US in 1871.He persecuted native and foreign Catholics. In 1873, he took over his father’s reign and declared himself as Emperor. By doing this, he broke away as a protectorate of China and equal status with the Qing Dynasty of China. Korea was a protectorate of China since the 16th Century.
Tensions increased between China and Japan leading up to Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95.Pro-Japanese forces in Korea fought against pro-Chinese forces under Korean Queen MIn. It ended with Treaty of Ganghwa. The treaty was unequal. It gave Japan on advantage over Korea. Britain, Russia, China, France, and Germany all wanted to annex Korea. but Japan took over Korea by 1910. Japan gave the Korean emperor new types of rifles for his soldiers. Before, the Korean soldiers had matchlock rifles, swords, spears, and bows, and arrows. Gojong and Min were separated before they fought each other. His father, Daewongun, was restored to power briefly. It was to resolve the conflict between Gojong and Min. Talk about a divorce!
Chinese abducted Daewongun and 4 years later, he was released and returned to Korea.
Back in 1884, an attempted coup was against Gojong and Min.
Increasing widespread poverty and peasant revolts lead to this.
In 1894, the peasants revolted and Gojong asked for Japanese aid.
In 1895, Japanese agents assassinated Min. There were growing anti-Japanese sentiments in Korea. There were armies that called themselves Righteous Armies fought for independence from Japan.
In 1896, Gojong fled to Russia. He returned and took over his reign once more.
1904-5 was the Russo-Japanese War. Gojong sent a delegate in 1907 to the Hague Peace Convention to sue for independence. But he was more of a puppet to Japanese and they forced him to abdicate that year. Japan annexed Korea in 1910.He died in 1919, which led to the First Student March and brought in some reforms.

King Sejong, Renaissance King

Born Yi Ta in 1397 in Korea, being the fourth king of Joseon Dynasty. His father was King Taejong. He was the king’s third son. When he was twelve, he became Grand Prince Chungnyeong. His oldest brother, Yangnyeong, was heir apparent in 1404, but he was too free spirit and rather go hunting than be a king. So, he was removed in 1418.His other brother, Hyoryeong, who abdicated to become a Buddhist monk. His father, Taejong, abdicated the throne later that year in 1418 and left his son, who became known as Sejong, to be king. Taejong died in 1422.
King Sejong followed Confucianism, which was becoming the state religion. At first, he suppressed Buddhism, but later built Buddhist temples and even became a Buddhist monk, briefly.
He made treaties with the Ming Chinese Dynasties. Korea was known as Chosan. He opened trade with Japan,but later invaded Japanese island Tsushima.He helped the funding of making cannons and mortars. Also, he had fire arrows with missiles built. He had improved on gunpowder. Japanese pirates were at Tsushima Island, which was why he invaded the island.
In Treaty of Japanese at Gyehae in 1443, he made the Japanese pirates pay tribute to Korea.
In 1443, he made an expedition against the Jurchens of Manchuria.
Science and technology were encouraged by Sejong. He wrote a farmers’ handbook to help farmers.
Jang Yeongsil became a prominent inventor under his rule. Jang Yeongsil came from a poor class family, but was promoted by Taejong and Sejong as the court inventor. He created water clocks, armillary spheres, and sundials. In 1442, he invented the first rain gauge.
Sejong reformed the calendar. With this calendar, Korean astronomers can predict, accurately, solar and lunar eclipses.
Under his rule, the Korean doctors created two major volumes on medicine.
When in times of surplus, he gave food to the poor.
King Sejong helped invent the Hangul alphabet that Koreans use to this day. It made it easier for lower classes to read. Before that, the scholars used Chinese. He encouraged literacy for everyone. He composed a Sino-Korean dictionary in 1447.
In 1442, he created Hall of Worthies, where he encouraged scholars to pursue their endeavors.
Under him, Admiral Yi created his ironclad ships.
He died of diabetes in 1450.

Admiral Yi

He born in 1545, Seoul, Korea and grew in Assan, where there is a shrine to him now. He made his own bow and arrow when he was 12.
He failed military exams by breaking a leg during a cavalry exam. Yi re-entered and passed. H, soon, had to leave the army for three years after his father’s death. He was accused of desertion after he returned. Stripped of rank, tortured, and imprisoned for a year. He was released and return to the army. Both Manchuria and Japan invaded Korea in 1590.
Yi looked at old scrolls and saw an armored ship that was built in 1413 and abandoned in 1415. He decided to revive it with some modifications. It had 5 different cannons, including one at the bow. It shot out through the wooden dragonhead mast. Sometimes the dragon head was used to shoot fire and smoke. Iron spikes covered hexagonal plates on the deck.Cannons can shoot 300-500 meters away. The ship was 100 feet long. It had 10moars, 11 cannons on each side, a cannon on stern and also at the bow.50-60 mariners and 70 sailors. He was able to build five of these ships, before the government cut him off of funds, because they wanted to build more cannons. He became admiral after his battle against Japan in Imjin War. He was on par with British Admiral Nelson. He was admired by the Japanese admirals. In Battle of Myeogyang, he was outnumber 133 to 13 by the Japanese. He sunk all the Japanese ships, except for about 30. None of his ships went down. He had his 5 Turtle Ships, the armored ships were called.
Despite his victory, his enemies accused him of insubordination and treachery. in 1597. He was imprisoned for a year.
Yi got his rank back to fight Japanese on land this time at Battle of Moryang. He died of leg wound infection, but won the battle in 1598.