Monday, September 29, 2014

Invading Spokane

Davenport Hotel
Downtown Spokane
It is not hard to find evidence of American Invasions in Spokane, Washington.

First off, most visitors drive past Fairchild Air Force Base (  Fairchild AFB, which lies about 12 miles outside of Spokane, was built in 1942 when panic swept the West coast of the US after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  The 1942 Rose Bowl was played in North Carolina instead of Pasadena that year.

Washington state is packed with US military installations such as the JBLM near Tacoma that I have blogged about previously (  Bremerton is home to a significant US Naval base and Whidbey Island has a naval air station.  Much of this defense spending in Washington state is attributable to the legacy of Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson who served for many years on the defense committee and steered pork to Washington state.

Ensign John Monaghan
Spokane, WA
Right in front of the Spokane Club in downtown Spokane a visitor will find a statue of Ensign John Monaghan who died fighting in an American invasion of Samoa in 1899.  Here is what we had to say about that American invasion in our new book America Invades (Pre-order today at

Death of Monaghan
Spokane WA
By 1899, fighting between local factions was raging once again, with the United States and Britain throwing their weight behind Prince Tanu and with the Germans supporting his opponent, Mata’afa losefo. British and US naval forces, including the USS Philadelphia, shelled Apia in March 1899, and then US and British marines and sailors along with Tanu’s followers pursued Mata’afa losefo’s forces. What followed was the Battle of Vailele, in which the American, British, and Tanu’s party were ambushed by large numbers of attackers. Our men fought bravely, but their commander and three other Americans were killed (including Ensign John Monaghan, a graduate of Gonzaga University and the US Naval Academy who was later commemorated with a statue in Spokane, Washington), and the attacking party had to withdraw. Shortly afterwards, a peace deal was reached, which split Samoa into German and American areas while Britain got territory elsewhere.

America Invades, Kelly / Laycock, 2014,

Monaghan Plaque
Spokane, WA
Half a block away from the Monaghan statue, one will find a statue of Abraham Lincoln the Great Emancipator.

The Great Emancipator
Spokane, WA
There are two wonderful quotes from the most eloquent American President.  Lincoln wrote several condolence letters to grieving parents during the US Civil war -- the costliest war in our history.

Lincoln's condolence letter
"Right makes Might"
A. Lincoln
"Scoop" Jackson and many others shared Lincoln's faith that "right makes might".

Havermale Island in the middle of the Spokane river and near downtown was one of the first settlements of European settlers in the inland Empire.  According to the 1958 plaque, this small island formed a pioneer stronghold in a sea of Indian country.  On a bridge across the river a visitor will find this plaque...

Havermale Island Plaque
Spokane, WA
A bronze Vietnam Veteran memorial was dedicated in 1985 on this same island in Spokane that the pioneers had defended.  The cost of American Invasions is on display here.

Weary Vietnam Vet
Spokane, WA
Vietnam Veteran Memorial
Spokane, WA
Americans have even "invaded" space.  Michael Anderson was the son of an Air Force father who served at Fairchild AFB.  He grew up in Spokane and also joined the USAF.  He later became a NASA astronaut but was tragically killed in a 2003 shuttle explosion (

Michael Anderson
Spokane, WA

Sunday, September 28, 2014

America Invades Book Tour is Launched!

America Invades
The Gorge, Washington

Yesterday (September 27), armed with 35 bottles of wine, one bottle of single malt, over one thousand hardback books and a considerable amount of schwag (Does anyone really need Carpenter's pencils these days?  Does anyone really still whittle?) I drove from Seattle to Spokane in Washington state.

We also have a reasonable supply of Cubans for the occasional small celebration.  I like to protest human rights violations in Cuba by ritually burning their agricultural products!

"The Special Relationship"
We have started our 36 state tour to launch our book America Invades.  It took about a year and a half to write it with my friend Stuart Laycock.  We will be stopping at bookstores, visiting media, tailgating at college and NFL football games and visiting friends and family.  Here is the tour schedule link...

Our recently adopted theme movie is 2014's Chef with John Favreau (I saw it on the plane out).  How on earth did he manage to get dumped by Scarlett Johansson and SofĂ­a Vergara anyway?  We won't be peddling Cuban sandwiches or BBQ but we do have a product for those that still read.

Like Favreau's character we look forward most of all to reconnecting with olds friends and family on this cross country trek and, perhaps, selling a tome or tow along the way.  Beignets in New Orleans at cafe du monde -- a must!

I passed by the Gorge which is a natural wonder in the state that hosts many live music concerts in the summer.
Wild Horses
The Gorge, WA
Nearby there were statues of horses that look down on the gorge.  I climbed up a small rocky hill to get this photo.

Auntie's Books, Spokane, WA
I had my first book signing ever at Auntie's books in Spokane Washington.  I gave a brief powerpoint presentation on America Invades.

Ensign Monaghan
Killed in Samoa, 1899
A statue of Ensign John Monaghan graces downtown Spokane and a photo of it is featured in our book.  I took this one today.  Monaghan was killed by natives in Samoa in 1899.  There was a power struggle in Samoa that pitted German backed forces versus those backed by Britain and the USA.  Monaghan died trying to protect his commanding officer.  You will find more about that American Invasion of Samoa in our book (Available on Amazon