• We do the Bridge-Walks on Saturday mornings assuming no rain or other commitments. We meet at 7:45 a.m. and begin walking to the Golden Gate Bridge at 8:00 a.m. It's okay to arrive late; you'll just have to catch up or meet us after the turn at Fort Point. 7:45 a.m. SFYC-Marina parking lot to GGB & return, assuming a decent weather forecast. This is a walk TO, not over, the bridge, and back.

  • Description: Unless otherwise noted, all walks proceed as follows: we begin at the parking lot shown as Yacht Road on Mapquest adjacent to the north end of the Marina Green next to the St. Francis Yacht Club. We meet at 7:45 a.m. and at 8:00 a.m. ambling towards the Golden Gate Bridge, which is about a mile-and-a-quarter away. If you're late, it's easy to catch up. The round trip takes about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. There are comfort stations at each end. Snacks and a bookstore are at the Warming Hut near the Bridge. Plenty of birds and boats to see along the way. Bring a friend or child, a camera or binoculars. Dress for wind and weather. Drizzles don't bother, rainstorms will cancel. We talk about something, nothing, birds, plants, boats, whatever, and if it relates to Con-Law, so much the better, but that's not required. We enjoy ourselves, basically, by getting fresh air and taking a more or less brisk walk, depending on what stops we make to smell the flowers or view a bird.


  • Choose a work that you love and you won't have to work another day. Confucius
  • A sound mind in a sound body under a sound Constitution, that's our motto. rs
  • The key to nearly everything is a competent investigation, which means one conducted with integrity, an attempt to see where you might be wrong. RS w/ thanks to RPF
  • The key to creating an illusory world is a biased selection of facts according to a preconceived notion. - Thomas Sowell
  • The past isn't dead, it's all around you... rs
  • The past isn't dead. It isn't even past. -- Wm. Faulkner
  • If Constitutional Law doesn't get your dander up, you're not getting it. -- R. Sheridan
  • The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, but remember, you are the easiest person to fool. -- Richard P. Feynman
  • No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. -- U.S. Constitution, Amends 5, 14
  • No freeman shall be taken, imprisoned,...or in any other way destroyed...except by the lawful judgment of his peers, or by the law of the land. - Magna Carta
  • The only thing new under the sun is the history you don't know. -- Harry S Truman
  • Study the past if you would divine the future. -- Confucius







March 12, 2005


Thad Anderson

I'm reading "Born Fighting" right now, and I think that understanding the history of the Scots-Irish is one of the keys to understanding the South, and the current "Culture War."

My family is from North Carolina, which is incredibly Scots-Irish: my great-grandparents, the Laughridges, lived in the town of Marion, in McDowell County. Growing up in the South, everyone was either "white" or "black." I knew my family was Scots-Irish, but didn't really know what that meant, and, believe it or not, only recently started thinking about the fact that this meant they had lived in what is now Northern Ireland. Growing up, I just didn't even think about it that much - we didn't have contact with any relatives, because my family moved to NC during the mid-1700's. And with the exception of friends whose families had moved to NC since the 1950's or 60's, almost all of the white folks I knew growing up were Scots-Irish.

When I moved to New York, everyone kept asking where I was from. "North Carolina." Where's your family from? "Uh, a lot of my dad's family is from the mountains, and my mom's from Alabama (much of which was settled by Scots-Irish from NC)." No, where were they from before that? "Ohhh . . . Scotland, originally."

Anyway, the Scots-Irish tradition has played a huge role in the South's historical distrust of central government. North Carolina still doesn't give its Governor executive veto, which stems from a combination of Colonial-era factors: the Protestants' distrust of central leaders, and the distrust and resentment that most of the people in the Piedmont and Mountains had towards the wealthy aristocrats in Eastern NC, and in VA and SC (an old North Carolina maxim calls the state "A vale of humility between two mountains of conceit.")

And the Scots-Irish take on the Protestant work ethic is cut and dry: those who pray and work hard are rewarded with success, and inversely, those who are not successful either must not have prayed or must not have worked hard (if it's a friend or family member, you're less direct, and politely say "bless his/her heart"). This goes a long way towards understanding the deeply-ingrained opposition to welfare and similar programs.

I still don't know if it is politically correct for me to celebrate St. Patrick's Day this week, or whether that is the equivalent of Teresa Heinz-Kerry saying she is an "African-American." I figure that, as long as I explain that my folks left Ulster in the 1730's, I'll be okay. One scotch, one bourbon, and one Guinness, please.

Thad Anderson

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
"Lord grant that I may always be right, for Thou knowest I am hard to turn." (An 18th Century Scots-Irish Prayer).

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