Practicing Intermediate Spanish Using Short Stories

A Spanish blogger has posted 51 stories with links in Spanish. Each story was originally written in English and some are available for free such as Hemingway’s, The Snows of Kilimanjaro. Anton Chekhov stories such as The Lady With the Dog and La señora del perrito are available, too.

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Controversy at Princeton Over Woodrow Wilson

Princeton University is considering renaming some of their buildings named after Woodrow Wilson because he was a racist even by the standards of 100 years ago. Like all Presidents, Woodrow Wilson was evil, but he was one of the worst and racism was the least of his crimes. Wilson ran for President in 1916 under the slogan, “He Kept Us Out of War” and it was very effective because most people wanted to stay out of the war in Europe. As soon as Wilson was elected, he reversed himself and joined the war in Europe over the objections of the citizens, and fought the war with conscripted soldiers, slaves, 50 years after the War Between the States, a war that resulted in the enactment of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, prohibiting slavery and involuntary servitude.

According to Wikipedia:

In 1917 the administration of Woodrow Wilson decided to rely primarily on conscription, rather than voluntary enlistment, to raise military manpower for World War I when only 73,000 volunteers enlisted out of the initial 1 million target in the first six weeks of the war. One claimed motivation was to head off former president Theodore Roosevelt, who proposed to raise a volunteer division, which would upstage Wilson, but there is no evidence that even Roosevelt had the popularity to overcome the unpopular war.

The Selective Service Act of 1917 was carefully drawn to remedy the defects in the Civil War system and—by allowing exemptions for dependency, essential occupations, and religious scruples—to place each man in his proper niche in a national war effort. The act established a “liability for military service of all male citizens”; authorized a selective draft of all those between 21 and 31 years of age (later from 18 to 45); and prohibited all forms of bounties, substitutions, or purchase of exemptions.

Administration was entrusted to local boards composed of leading civilians in each community. These boards issued draft calls in order of numbers drawn in a national lottery and determined exemptions.

In 1917 10 million men were registered. This was deemed to be inadequate, so age ranges were increased and exemptions reduced, and so by the end of 1918 this increased to 24 million men that were registered with nearly 3 million inducted into the military services, with little of the resistance that characterized the Civil War, thanks to a huge campaign by the government to build support for the war, and shut down newspapers and magazines that published articles against the war.

The draft was universal and included blacks on the same terms as whites, although they served in different units. In all 367,710 black Americans were drafted (13.0% of the total), compared to 2,442,586 white (86.9%)….

In 1917, a number of radicals and anarchists, including Emma Goldman, challenged the new draft law in federal court, arguing that it was a direct violation of the Thirteenth Amendment’s prohibition against slavery and involuntary servitude. The Supreme Court unanimously upheld the constitutionality of the draft act in the Selective Draft Law Cases on January 7, 1918. The decision said the Constitution gave Congress the power to declare war and to raise and support armies….

Conscription was unpopular from left-wing sectors at the start, with many Socialists jailed for “obstructing the recruitment or enlistment service”. The most famous was Eugene Debs, head of the Socialist Party of America, who ran for president in 1920 from his Atlanta prison cell. He had his sentence commuted to time served and was released on December 25, 1921, by President Warren G. Harding….

Ben Salmon was a nationally known political activist who encouraged men not to register and personally refused to comply with the draft procedures. He rejected the Army Review Board proposal that he do noncombatant farm work. Sentenced to 25 years in prison, he again refused a proposed desk job. He was pardoned and released in November 1920 with a “dishonorable discharge”.

Eugene Debs was incarcerated for exercising his right to free speech and received one million votes even though he ran his campaign for President from prison. Wilson also created the Federal Reserve in 1913 to raise money for government spending, especially wars. He also helped pass the income tax amendment to the Constitution in 1913, which in those days had been an emergency measure used only to finance wars. Abraham Lincoln had used an income tax 50 years earlier to fight the War Between the States and countries in Europe had enacted income taxes to finance wars.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) was created to oppose Wilson. According to Wikipedia:

The ACLU developed from the National Civil Liberties Bureau (CLB), co-founded in 1917 during the Great War by Crystal Eastman, an attorney activist, and Roger Nash Baldwin. The focus of the CLB was on freedom of speech, primarily anti-war speech, and on supporting conscientious objectors who did not want to serve in World War I.

Three United States Supreme Court decisions in 1919 each upheld convictions under laws against certain kinds of anti-war speech. In 1919, the Court upheld the conviction of Socialist Party leader Charles Schenck for publishing anti-war literature. In Debs v. United States, the court upheld the conviction of Eugene Debs. While the Court upheld a conviction a third time in Abrams v. United States, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote an important dissent which has gradually been absorbed as an American principle: he urged the court to treat freedom of speech as a fundamental right, which should rarely be restricted.

Black college students will never demand that a building named after Woodrow Wilson be renamed because he enjoyed murdering conscripted soldiers in an unpopular war. Why? Well, black soldiers are 25% of the military even though blacks are 13% of the population. Blacks enjoy war just as much whites, maybe more so. Conscription, a form of slavery and involuntary servitude, was repealed 40 years ago; black college students have nothing to worry about other than being taxed to pay the volunteer soldiers and purchase the weapons and ammunition.

The New York Post also describes some of Wilson’s other crimes, a list that seems nearly endless.

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Southwest Fall Vacation 2015

Mary and I enjoyed a vacation in Utah, Arizona, and Nevada in September and October. We went to Lakes Powell, Havasu, and Mohave for the first time, along with many places we’ve visited before.

Starting a vacation of biking and kayaking in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Starting a vacation of biking and kayaking in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

The prettiest bridge in Steamboat Springs.

The prettiest bridge in Steamboat Springs.

Rock between Moab, Utah and Lake Powell.

Rock between Moab, Utah and Lake Powell.

German motorcycle gang visits the Utah side of Lake Powell.

German motorcycle gang visits the Utah side of Lake Powell.

Mary and Venus at Capitol Reef, Utah.

Mary and Venus at Capitol Reef, Utah.

Mary at La Cueva Mexican Restaurant located at a curve in the road to Capitol Reef, Utah.

Mary at La Cueva Mexican Restaurant located at a curve in the road to Capitol Reef, Utah.

Inside La Cueva Mexican restaurant, Capitol Reef, Utah.

Inside La Cueva Mexican restaurant, Capitol Reef, Utah.

Can you spot the worried dog in this picture who fears that we might leave without her?

Can you spot the worried dog in this picture who fears that we might leave without her?

We camped at an RV park near Capitol Reef, an oasis in the desert known for apple orchards. Fortunately, the owner was unaware that no apple is safe when Mary is nearby!

We camped at an RV park near Capitol Reef, an oasis in the desert known for apple orchards. Fortunately, the owner was unaware that no apple is safe when Mary is nearby!

Mary and I would like to get a small aerodynamic trailer like this one for our next trip. I can't sleep in our utility trailer and sleeping in a tent is cold!

Mary and I would like to get a small aerodynamic trailer like this one for our next trip. I can’t sleep in our utility trailer and sleeping in a tent is cold!

This wagon is available for rent for people who want to know what it was like to be a western pioneer in Utah.

This wagon is available for rent for people who want to know what it was like to be a western pioneer in Utah.

Halloween in the southern Utah town of Torrey.

Halloween in the southern Utah town of Torrey.

The rocks at the beach on the Utah side of Lake Powell.

The rocks at the beach on the Utah side of Lake Powell.

The Virgin River in Arizona between St. George Utah and Mesquite, Nevada is one of our favorite places, as shown in the next few videos.

Me at the London Bridge, Lake Havasu, Arizona.

Me at the London Bridge, Lake Havasu, Arizona.

Marina at Lake Havasu, Arizona.

Marina at Lake Havasu, Arizona.

Most of the house in Lake Havasu City are of the California Spanish style but a few are made of thick walls of Arizona adobe. These houses are cheap to cool with air conditioners.

Most of the houses in Lake Havasu City are of the California Spanish style but a few are made of thick walls of Arizona adobe. These houses are cheap to cool with air conditioners.

Cactus Mailbox

Kayak Vegas

Kayaks launching at Lake Mohave near Hoover Dam.

Kayaks launching at Lake Mohave near Hoover Dam.

The Coconino Forest between Flagstaff and Sedona is very steep. Venus swam in one of the creeks.

Venus swims in a creek in the Coconino Forest between Flagstaff and Sedona, Arizona.

Venus swims in a creek in the Coconino Forest between Flagstaff and Sedona, Arizona.

Elton John persuaded Andre and Steffi to play a few games of tennis at Caesar's Palace. We were part of the crowd of spectators.

Elton John persuaded Andre and Steffi to play a few games of tennis at Caesar’s Palace. We were part of the crowd of spectators.

Mary enjoyed the rare opportunity to execute her husband at the Mob Museum in Las Vegas.

Mary enjoyed the rare opportunity to execute her husband at the Mob Museum in Las Vegas.

Mary and I rode the train through the Verde Canyon in Arizona near Sedona, shown in the two videos below.

Rooms constructed by Indians at the Tuzigoot National Monument.

Rooms constructed by Indians at the Tuzigoot National Monument.

Montezuma's Castle is a small town that Indians built into the face of a mountain in central Arizona. It's a very popular national monument.

Montezuma’s Castle is a small town that Indians built into the face of a mountain in central Arizona. It’s a very popular national monument.

We explored the Indian ruins at the Tuzigoot National Monumnet near Sedona.

We explored the Indian ruins at the Tuzigoot National Monumnet near Sedona.

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The Arizona Copper Museum

Mary and I visited the Arizona Copper Museum in Clarkdale, near Sedona, last month. Arizona is The Copper State and Clarkdale is the site of a mine that operated for many decades.

Mary Copper Museum

Mary Kettle

Copper Cash Register

Chess Zoomed

Playing Chess

Big Ben Copper

Chase Copper

Copper Coins

Copper Freedom

Copper Standard

Men and Cat Sculpture

Revere Copper

Rubens Self Portrait

Solomon Judgment

Squirrel Clock

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Kayaking in Arizona

I bought a touring kayak 4 years ago but didn’t use it often until the last 2 months. I paddled in 5 places in Arizona, Lake Mohave near Hoover Dam and Nevada, Lake Havasu near the California border, Tempe Town Lake, Saguaro Lake in the mountains 90 minutes north of Phoenix, and the Verde River 15 miles south of Sedona. Mary tried it for the first time at Tempe Town Lake.

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Lake McConaughy, September 2015

I visited Lake McConaughy in western Nebraska in September. It’s an unusual lake because it is large and provides plenty of shade with large cottonwoods. It’s never crowded because it is far from Denver and Omaha.

Mac 2

Mac 1

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Mac House

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The Petrified Wood Gallery of Ogallala, Nebraska

I recently visited the large and fascinating Petrified Wood Gallery of Ogallala, Nebraska during a trip to nearby Lake McConaughy.

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Bad Health Advice from a Bestseller

In The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, Charles Duhigg recommends:

Want to exercise more? Choose a cue, such as going to the gym as soon as you wake up, and a reward, such as a smoothie after each workout. Then think about that smoothie, or about the endorphin rush you’ll feel. Allow yourself to anticipate the reward. Eventually, that craving will make it easier to push through the gym doors every day.

Smoothies that cause an endorphin rush are unhealthy. Photo by City Java Smoothies via Flickr.

Smoothies that cause an endorphin rush are unhealthy. Photo by City Java Smoothies via Flickr.


Smoothies contain sweeteners like sugar and bananas and often contain dairy. The “endorphin rush” is caused by eating sugar. Most smoothies are unhealthy and will destroy the benefits you obtain from exercising; health depends more upon what you eat than exercise. However, you can make tasty sugarless drinks without milk and endorphin rushes using a high speed blender such as a Vitamix or NutriBullet. Further, Charles Duhigg recommends:

Want to craft a new eating habit? When researchers affiliated with the National Weight Control Registry—a project involving more than six thousand people who have lost more than thirty pounds—looked at the habits of successful dieters, they found that 78 percent of them ate breakfast every morning, a meal cued by a time of day.

Breakfast is a meal to break a fast. The reason you’re not hungry in the morning is that you don’t need food unless the “food” you ate yesterday lacked nutrition. If you want to lose weight, refrain from eating when you’re not hungry because your body won’t forget to tell you that it needs food. Eating breakfast only enriches farmers and food processors who sell unhealthy “food” such as wheat, corn, and cow’s milk.

Related Posts:
The Paleo Caveman Diet of Tennis Star Novak Djokovic
Will Skipping Breakfast Make You Fat?

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A Week in Vail and Summit County

Cold Mary

Gore Creek Crowd

Hotel Gramshammer

Kombucha Lady

Bears

Oracle Boat

Silverthorne Trailer

VVMC Van

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Wall Street Journal Exposes Startup Chile Fraud

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Startup Chile program is a huge waste of government funds.

Start-Up Chile spent $40 million on grants, its economic achievements have been limited. About 80% of the foreign firms that are accepted leave after meeting the required six-month stay. Some 300 new companies are accepted annually, but the large portion opting to depart highlights the obstacles Chile still faces in fostering entrepreneurship and innovation outside its core industries….

Chile has a lot going for it. Businesses are attracted to its political stability and its ranking as one of Latin America’s least-corrupt countries. Residents enjoy its wine, snow-capped mountains and rugged coastline.

But new businesses in Chile still face complications. The World Bank’s 2015 Doing Business report, which compares regulations in 189 countries, lists Chile below Colombia, Mexico and Peru in terms of the ease of operating a company there.

Alberto Rodriguez, the World Bank’s country director for Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela, said that the countries need to create a more business-friendly environment by focusing on such areas as regulation and infrastructure.

The Doing Business report states that Chile has failed to improve its position compared to other countries. For instance, Spain was behind Chile a few years ago but is now ranked higher.

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