Mago Bill

I post a lot about Mago Bill. The following may help you to know why.

Mago Bill is a nickname I have given my paternal great grandfather. I have used the name Mago Bill for recent Blogs and in not so recent posts. I have done that because I believe that it inspires me to present you with more unusual and interesting backstories and histories in a variety of posts.

My sister, the genealogist of our family, introduced me to the existence of documentation of the life of M.William Sheehan. His existence had been unknown to us. We had not known his name or that he had been our paternal great grandfather. As I remember, my sister showed me that, he had been in the far south of Ireland and that he had immigrated to America when very young. We soon discovered that the initial, "M." In his name probably stood for Mago, a name not popular in the U.S. To me he promptly became Mago Bill, my inspiration.

Spanish speaking friends tell me that mago means magician in Spanish. Some of those friends tell me that "the three kings" or "the three wise men" who brought gifts to the infant Jesus were called magos. However, I have read that Mago was an important family name among the Carthaginian Phoenicians before Rome came of age and that later some of that family knew Hannibal.

Carthaginian traders and navigators came to Ireland to trade for tin and other precious metals. The brought so much knowledge of of the name Mago with them that it impress some of the people there. Seems inspiring to me. I tend to romanticize a bit.

About me. I am an old U.S. citizen living in Colombia.

You may expect future posts here to be short "essays" to deal with: citizenship, the USA, Ireland, Colombia, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Spain, Mago Bill and a lot more that I like to call culture

 


When We Are Willing to Talk

A new U.S. farm bill comes along every five years or so and I am yet to witness a national dialogue or debate on it. Farm bills not only affect our national debt, but also what we eat and how much it costs. They determine the price of rice in Vietnam and the price of corn in Mexico.They make up our strategy for feeding ourselves. We, as a people, do not take time to talk about them!

Most of us, including our legislators, consider them boring, incomprehensible, and unimportant.

We don't have to be this way. We can educate ourselves. We can create bills that are much easier to understand and we talk-over the issues and our policy. When we find the bills easier to understand we will find them more interesting. As a result we may find ourselves giving our children a better chance to eat well.  

Our farm bill is important. We can benefit, for example, by putting our agricultural policy in better alignment with our health needs and our environmental needs. When we car enough we could make it easier to feed ourselves and our children higher quality fresh food with less poisons added. We could make sure that our farmers got fairer prices and fewer distorting subsidies.

When we get willing to talk with one another we can get our issues on the table where we can look them over.

Among people who are not slaves, it seems important to expand the circle of citizens who decide how we shall get the food we need and want.

Thanks to Michael for his inspiration.

 

by Richard Sheehan

for Mago Bill


An Active Citizen

You can start your life as a active citizen by taking one or more of the following actions. More may be better. You can find a couple that are truly easy (pizy).

Consider:

  • What an active citizen can do to help his/her school district, town, city, state. You might start at a local library.
  • Learning a little more than just a little about your county government.
  • Keeping politically humble, curious, and modest.
  • Making an opportunity to attend a couple of meetings of civic organizations.
  • Joining a political party.It is OK to change parties.
  • Registering to vote. It can be more interesting to register as a party member.
  • Getting a better understanding of an issue, a policy, a plank, or a specific bill.
  • Contacting the office of a specific office holder and asking what his or her position is on your issue of interest.
  • Calling the U.S. Capitol switchboard and telling them your zip code. They will transfer you to your Representative. Tell your Representative representative what is on your mind: ask your question or say what it is you want of him.
  • Writing to the office of your Senator. Check on line to see how to spell his name. Address your letter to him in care of the United States Senate, Washing DC 20515.
  • Writing to your Congressman/Representative by name at the United States House of Representatives, Washington DC 20515.
  • Sitting quietly foe awhile and letting what you have learned work itself around in your mind. You may be be beginning to cook a bit politically.
  • Remembering that nobody has to be a politician all the time.
  • Finding a finding a friend who seems to be politically knowledgeable or civically interested. Talk civics or issues of governance and like that.
  • Attending meetings of your city council or of your local school board. You ca just watch.
  • Keeping your sense of humor and having some fun as you remember that political often have seriously important consequences.

 

Thanks for reading citizen! If you are a citizen of Moldova, Bolivia, or elsewhere you can find some useful actions above. You can use the translation tool in the left hand column. 

 

by Richard Sheehan

for Mago Bill

 


Chickamauga War

Our American ancestors, right from 1776, warred about as much as we war now. I hope to give you some brief histories of a few of those wars in the future. When you have questions I can add important points or data to one of those histories. 

Right now I will say a first bit about the "Chickamauga War."

Historians talk about the Chickamauga war, but I like to say "wars" because the Chickamauga wars started early and lasted long enough to change locations of and reasons for the killing. They paused killing to change locations and renew their reasons for killing.

Some call them the Cherokee wars. When Cherokee ancestors protected their families, tribe, and territory from the violence of our invading ancestors, our ancestors killed them; killed them man, woman, and child; killed them and took their homes and their land. Ancestors, theirs and ours killed each other. Our ancestors most often proved to be the better killers.

Even so, the Cherokee people, with the sometime help of other peoples such as the Muskogee and Shawnee, actively resisted for nearly a century. According to some histories, those wars continued for "only" 20 years. 

Much of those struggles took place in what we might call the northern tier of the southern states; states like Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Arkansas, and North Carolina.

Mostly the Cherokee depended on their native allies, but they also allied themselves with the Kingdom of Great Britain to protect themselves from invasion and occupation by "Americans."

The Cherokee, it may well be remembered, are one of those people we called "civilized tribes." They were called civilized for a variety of reason; reasons such as their lifestyle; their way of dealing with others, and their knowledge of agriculture. They also married widely with Europeans from, perhaps, well before the first colonies were established in North America. The Cherokee, I believe, have long established bloodlines with Portuguese, Irish, Welsh, Scot and others.

During much of the most severe strife between Cherokee and American, an important Cherokee leader was Dragging Canoe.

Do you want to know why, besides, ignorance, these conflicts were called Chickamauga Wars rather than Cherokee Wars? Ask me or check with Wikipedia or Google.

The Cherokee are distant relatives of the Iroquois and spoke an Iroquoian language. They probably migrated south from Iroquois territory around the Great Lakes in pre-Columbian times. So, they may well have dispossessed others to claim the territory of those others.