Tuesday, March 31, 2015

History: The Year is 1546

I've uploaded year 1546 to the TSP Wiki...


Here are some one liners...

Martin Luther Passes Away -- Martin Luther dies of apoplexy which is usually a heart attack or massive stroke where one is rendered unconscious. He was a giant of a man.

The Way of the Warrior is Death -- A Japanese feudal lord warns that if you are thinking about coming back, you aren't coming back. I talk about the Bible which says the same thing.

Barbarossa Retires to the Grave -- The Admiral has handed the Mediterranean to the Ottomans. The word "Admiral" is an Arabic word.

Martin Luther Passes Away

The Reverend Father Doctor Martin Luther has been suffering from vertigo, heart pain and kidney stones... very painful. These last few years have been rough and people notice that he has became short-tempered. This is out of character since he has been known for his hospitality and good company. He delivers his last sermon. It is a real stem-winder against the Jews. The end is near. He recites a different prayer before bed... "Into your hand I commit my spirit" (Psalms 31:5). He awakens in the night. His friends ask him if he is ready to die, trusting in Jesus and confessing the doctrine taught in his name. He replies with a definite "Yes." A massive stroke takes him and he is gone before dawn. He was 62 years old. Others will pick up the torch. The movement can't be stopped but a lot of people are going to try. [1] [2]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Many historians have tried to figure out why Martin Luther was so peace-loving in the beginning of his life and so grumpy toward the end. His aliments certainly contributed to his grumpiness but this explanation is unsatisfying. The bottom line is that down through the centuries the character of people will be improved because of Martin Luther. Eric Mextas wrote of Martin Luther ...
"Luther's influence cannot be overestimated. His translation of the Bible into German was cataclysmic. Like a medieval Paul Bunyan, Luther in a single blow shattered the edifice of European Catholicism and in the bargain created the modern German language, which in turn effectively created the German people. Christendom was cleft in twain, and out of the earth beside it sprang the Deutsche Volk." (DOY-sheh vohlk) [3]

The Way of the Warrior is Death

There are no sissies in the Shogunate. Uesugi Kenshin (oo-soo-gee ken-shin) is a Japanese feudal lord and one step down from the Shogun. He has a philosophy of fighting that boils down to this: Be ready to fight without thought of coming back. In other words... death. Only then will you come back alive. If you are thinking about how terrible it will be if you don't come back, you won't come back. This is the way of the warrior and at this time in Japan even farmers participate in wars, thus making everyone a warrior. [4]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
This seems like warrior zen, but this philosophy of the warrior has its precedence in the Bible (Deuteronomy 20). When selecting who will go out to fight a war, certain men were exempt: a newly married man because he will be distracted, thinking of his wife; the man who has built a new house because he will be worried he will die in battle and never get use of it; a man who has planted a vineyard before he has tasted its first fruits and the like. The common theme is men who are thinking of what is waiting at home rather than the battle ahead. Men who do not have their head in the battle will have their heads handed to them, thus they will be useless to their fellows in war. [5]

Barbarossa Retires to the Grave

Last year Admiral Hayreddin Barbarossa retired to Constantinople. His son continues in his stead. Barbarossa has handed the Mediterranean to the Ottomans and now he is enjoying his old age. His enjoyment has been cut short by his death. He is placed in a tomb he had built a few years ago. [6]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The lesson to learn here is obvious. Never retire. The other lesson is in the word "Admiral." It comes from the Arabic phrase "emir al-bahr" meaning "commander of the sea." [7]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1546, Wikipedia.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

History: The Year is 1545

I've uploaded year 1545 to the TSP Wiki...


Here are some one liners...

The Rich Are Seeing Dollar Signs. The Poor Are Starving -- A silver strike in northern Peru (Bolivia) is causing massive inflation in Europe. In a sense... producing more silver is like "printing money". It produces the same inflation as does pumping more crude oil into the market place in the modern day.

The Wreck of the Mary Rose -- A new design imposed on an older ship causes the Mary Rose to go to the bottom. Only 3 dozen men out of 415 will survive. I talk about a seemingly small decision in the 1490s caused an avalanche many years later and that was why France was trying to invade England.

The Council of Trent's Opening Salvos -- By trying to address the problem of the Reformation, the major elements of the modern Catholic Church will be defined. The negotiations themselves will resemble the modern negotiations of nations... that is ... negotiating so that nothing happens... but something is going to happen this time.

The Rich Are Seeing Dollar Signs. The Poor Are Starving

A massive silver strike in Upper Peru (modern day Bolivia) has caused the town of Potosí (poe-TOE-see) to grow by leaps and bounds. Bars of silver over-stamped with the abbreviation PTSI are believed to be the source of the dollar sign "$" in use today. The rich are seeing dollar signs as ship loads of silver are dumped into the European economy but it is causing severe inflation. Wheat prices are spiking causing a famine. The only thing going right for the poor are taxes. Taxes are based on a fixed amount of silver so people are paying taxes with silver that is worth... less. Government revenues remain the same but they cannot cover the rising costs of supplies and salaries. Governments are struggling to adapt to the fluctuation and the rich are not as rich as their thought they would be but they are still filthy rich. [1] [2] [3]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Dumping all that silver into the economy was the equivalent of printing money. Printing money is inflationary, and the fact that one is not actually printing anything is meaningless. That is why President Obama can laugh and say truthfully that the government is not printing money while still causing inflation by creating money through the Fed. As Saudi Arabia pumps "black gold" into the marketplace, fuel prices drop, oil workers lose their jobs... and certain nations that depend on oil revenues to fund their wars, such as Russia and Iran, are stalled because their "black gold" is now worth... less. [4].

The Wreck of the Mary Rose

The French have an invasion fleet of 200 ships to measure against a paltry 80 ships from England. The French try to draw the English out for a battle in the Solent channel in southern England (between the Isle of Wight and the English mainland). The English ships, including the Mary Rose, go out to meet them. As the battle ensues either a gust of wind or a sudden turn of the ship causes the Mary Rose to heel over, exposing her open gun ports to the sea. Out of the complement of 415 men, a bare three dozen survive as the Mary Rose goes to the bottom. King Henry himself hears the cries of his sailors. She had gone through a rebuild in 1536 which added a second row of gun ports. That meant more cannons which shifted the center of gravity of the ship and created a greater broadside to catch the wind. This may explain why the Mary Rose might heel over more than normal. The wreck of the Mary Rose will be discovered in 1971 and raised in 1982. [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
One might ask... why the heck were the French attacking England? Well... it was because of that Italian War (actually several wars) that had been going on since the 1490s. Remember when the King of France was so unhappy that there were no Great Crusades any more? He claimed the throne of Naples to create a base of operations against the Ottomans but the Pope sided against him. That caused the French to march through Italy against Naples, knocking over kingdoms as they went. The Swiss sided with the French and then sided with the Pope. The Holy Roman Emperor got into the mix while kicking the snot out of the Protestants. And then England jumped into the Italian wars and that is why the French were trying to invade England in 1545. The English managed to fend off the invasion. [10]

The Council of Trent's Opening Salvos

The Protestant Reformation is no longer a few radical priests stirring up the peasants. The German Princes (the Protestants) are backing Martin Luther. Pope Paul the 3rd has to do something bold, so he calls a Council of Cardinals to the city of Mantua in northern Italy to address the issues plaguing the Catholic Church. He meets with push back. The King of France wants to include the Protestant Princes and Reformation priests. Naturally, the Pope doesn't want to concede legitimacy to the rebel priests and he doesn't want secular princes involved in Church matters. An internal report on Church reform has already been circulated. It centers around financial corruption. The Pope changes the location of the Council from Mantua to Trent. The Council of Trent will drag on until 1563 but in the end it will define the major recognizable elements of the modern Catholic Church. This will be the final Council to meet until Vatican I in 1864. [11]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The miracle of the Council of Trent was that it happened at all. In getting it organized one sees all the elements of international negotiation.... all designed so that no conclusion is ever made. (Any number of similar modern negotiations come to mind such as the Israel-Palestinian negotiations... the UN-Israeli negotiations... USA-Iranian negotiations, North Korean-USA negotiations... need I go on?) The Protestant Princes wanted a delay in order to consolidate their military positions. (There was a war going on, after all.) The Cardinals wanted to delay any financial reforms that would hurt them personally. The Council also defied the King of France and the Holy Roman Emperor who wanted it all to go away without another excuse for division. Against all odds, the Council of Trent will come to definite conclusions on Purgatory, transubstantiation and the counter-Reformation.[12]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1545, Wikipedia.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

History: The Year is 1544

I've uploaded year 1544 to the TSP Wiki...


Here are some one liners...

The Battle of the Shirts and the Audacity of Running for President -- The Scottish clans are battling it out because some guys are a little too timid to run the clans. And I talk about how a large ego is a prerequisite for running for President.

A Little "Rough Wooing" for Scotland -- King Henry the 8th wants a bride for his son and he is going to beat the tar out of Scotland to get one. I talk about no love lost between nations and how treaties get signed.

The Father of Electrical Engineering is Born... Darn It! -- William Gilbert will perform experiments in magnetism. He will coin the word "electricity" and will bring about everything from the electric motor to the magnetic strip on the back of your credit card.

The Battle of the Shirts and the Audacity of Running for President

A battle in July between several Scottish clans over a question of leadership becomes so heated that they pull off their plaids (a tartan wool cloth worn over the shoulder) and fight in their shirts. The battle takes place in the Great Glen which is a major travel route through Scotland. The battle itself was caused by a power vacuum created when King James the 5th of Scotland had several clan leaders arrested. When their seconds stepped into their places, one particular man, "Ranald of the Hens", was a little too humble for a Scotsman. Every time the fatted calf was killed in celebration, he would say, "Chickens would be enough." Thus when the leaders returned it became a battle over who was best suited to lead the clans and in the end, Ranald was not it. [1] [2] [3]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Ranald of the Hens was a capable leader, but not sufficiently self-aggrandizing to lead the clans. This reminds me of the obvious esteem in which US presidential candidates hold themselves. It takes real brass ones to run for that job but if a candidate thinks that his opponent could do a better job, then he should step down and vote for that better person. In the past I've seen presidential candidates act like a place-holders, and I wondered why they hadn't stepped aside early on to make room for someone else. Bill Clinton was a second-tier candidate who believed in himself. The first-tier candidates thought that President George H.W. Bush (the Elder) was unbeatable after Gulf War I, so Bill Clinton stepped in and even with his liabilities (which were legion) he won because he believed in himself... and because he lied his backside off but if you can't take a joke, you shouldn't vote. [4]

A Little "Rough Wooing" for Scotland

King Henry the 8th is looking to Scotland for a wife for his son, Edward, who is all of 7 years old at this time. Mary of Scotland (one day to become Mary, Queen of Scots) is a baby. Nevertheless, royalty is always looking ahead to what is on the horizon. The Scottish seem reluctant so King Henry puts major pressure on the Scots in the first "wooing" of the war. The forces of England sack and burn Edinburgh and take two ships belonging to King James the 5th. Presently, this is called a war, but later historians will use tongue-in-cheek to call this war the "Rough Wooing" of Scotland by England. This little war of affection is going to take a few years, but Prince Edward is still young. [5] [6]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
There is no love lost between nations. They only have their separate interests. I found it mystifying that while the Mullahs of Iran are shouting "Death to America" they are also negotiating a treaty with the United States. Perhaps it has always been this way. The Great Seal of the United States features an eagle with 13 arrows in one claw and an olive branch in the other symbolizing "a strong desire for peace, but will always be ready for war." The peace treaty between the Allied Forces and Japan after World War II was signed on the deck of the Missouri, the battleship at anchor in Tokyo harbor. Some people think that simply talking things out and signing treaties solves problems because they see treaties being signed and the problems ending. They fail to realize that the major treaties were signed after a contest of arms or a threat of arms so peace seemed the better option at the time. [7] [8]

The Father of Electrical Engineering is Born... Darn It!

The man who coined the word "electricity" is born this year in Colchester, England which is a small but wealthy town on the east coast of England. When William Gilbert grows up he will go to college and perform experiments with the compass. Apparently Columbus thought that magnetism was caused by an attraction to the North Star (Polaris). Others believe that garlic interferes with magnetism. (Perhaps these people are carrying garlic in tin boxes!) In any case, his experiments and reports from sea captains will convince him that magnetism comes from the earth itself. He is considered by many to be the father of electrical engineering. [9] [10]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
We are talking about magnetic north, though it is not exactly north and it tends to travel over time. The magnetic field of the earth is caused by the spinning of molten iron at the earth's core. A magnet has a directional force between positive and negative poles. When Paula Abdul sings, "Opposites attract!" the phrase comes from the notion that the positive pole of the magnet is attracted to the negative pole of another but if you flip it around, positive-to-positive or negative-to-negative the lines of force repel each other. One can create a magnetic field by running an electric current through a wire looped around an iron core such as a nail. This is the basis for many modern devices from the electric motor to the charger for an electric tooth brush. Often these devices must be shielded from each other so that they don't interfere with or damage each other. You also need a shield when someone tries to read that magnetic strip on the back of your credit card or the RFID chip in your ID badge, library book or bag of potato chips. "Hands up! Don't eat!" You are being tracked.[11] [12]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1544, Wikipedia.

History: The Year is 1543

I've uploaded year 1543 to the TSP Wiki...


Here are some one liners...

Third Act Problems and What Constitutes an Unalienable Right -- King Henry the 8th bring back Mary and Elizabeth into the line of succession and then tries to guarantee that no one will change the law, but his son will try. I then talk about unalienable rights... rights that don't change because they come from God.

The Beginning of the Dutch Republic and a Foreign-born Leadership -- The Dutch Republic is the precursor to the Dutch Empire that will span the world. I also talk about the problem of foreign-born rulers.

Martin Luther Turns Against the Jews -- Martin Luther is frustrated with the Jews because they refuse to convert so he is calling for the persecution of the Jews.

Third Act Problems and What Constitutes an Unalienable Right

In previous Acts of the English Parliament, King Henry the 8th's female children had been removed from the line of succession and rendered as bastards. Now, at the direction of the King, his Parliament has restored Mary and Elizabeth as legitimate heirs to the throne behind his son, Edward. Another Act makes it a treasonable offense to change this line of succession again. No doubt this was done to protect Edward, but when Edward becomes King he will attempt to cut out his half-sisters by naming his successor as Lady Jane Grey but Mary won't let that stand. Lady Jane will rule for 9 days before Mary will have her removed and beheaded. [1] [2] [3]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
It is the dream on any government to pass a law and make it unchangeable, but the only kind of laws like that are our fundamental unalienable rights that come from God. Some of those rights are listed in the Bill of Rights of the US Constitution. There was some argument, originally, that the Bill of Rights should not be added to the Constitution, because, as I imagine the logic went... "If we write down these God-given rights then our decedents will think that their rights come from government rather than from their Creator." This worry was deemed foolish. After all... what kind of knucklehead would think something like that? Eh? There is some room for confusion, though. Not all of our unalienable rights are listed there, so when someone says that such-and-such is a right, it is best to figure it out rather than reject the claim out of hand as "not written in the Constitution." That is a valid argument only if you believe that rights are granted by government and not by our Creator. [4]

The Beginning of the Dutch Republic and a Foreign-born Leadership

The Duchy of Geldern has been the center of a series of wars that have finally come to an end. The region is now under the control of Carlos the 1st of Spain (otherwise known as the Holy Roman Emperor). This event brings the 17 provinces of the original Dutch Republic under a single direct ruler. There are a few technical issues to be resolved and a couple of rebellions but the basic elements the Dutch Republic are now in place. From here the Dutch Empire will grow and extend around the world. [5] [6]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The Protestant Reformation prompted a series of rebellions that bound the Dutch provinces together, but this fight had been on-going since 1482 when Philip the Fair, the Duke of Burgundy, inherited several titles across the Netherlands when his mother died. The high nobility married across various kingdoms so that their titles would be inherited by their children even if those children were not born in the same country or kingdom. This made their cross-kingdom subjects uncomfortable. It is like a US Presidential candidate having a foreign birthplace even with all the legalities followed. Senator John McCain was born in Panama. Senator Ted Cruz was born in Canada, and wherever President Obama was born, it stirred people up. It has become a cruel joke when a Chinese National can travel to the USA; give birth and have her baby be considered more legitimate a US citizen than a baby born to an American citizen a few miles across the border. [7]

Martin Luther Turns Against the Jews

Martin Luther publishes a pamphlet entitled "On the Jews and Their Lies." It differs greatly from his earlier works regarding the Jews when he chided his fellow Christians for being so cruel to the Jews. In 1523 he wrote: "If I had been a Jew and had seen such dolts and blockheads govern and teach the Christian faith, I would sooner have become a hog than a Christian. They have dealt with the Jews as if they were dogs rather than human beings; they have done little else than deride them and seize their property." [8]
But twenty years later, his attitude towards the Jews has taken a dark turn...
"What shall we Christians do with this rejected and condemned people, the Jews? ..."
"First, to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn..."
"Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed..." [9]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
As a Jew it is difficult to respond. In observing the long span of history, Martin Luther has created a massively better world. He improved Christianity as a whole including Catholicism. Overall violence was lessened considerably. On the other hand, the Nazis used Martin Luther's words to murder Jews by the millions. Christians had been looking to Hitler as another Constantine who would impose Christianity from the state-level, rather than convince the individual with gentle words. Martin Luther started with gentle words but in 1543 he was 59 or 60 years old, suffering from Ménière's [men-AIR'S] disease, vertigo, fainting, tinnitus, and a cataract in one eye. Well... me too and I am usually in good humor. He was also in a lot of pain from kidney and bladder stones along with angina. Maybe that was it, but his biggest complaint was the blaspheming of the Christian patriarchs. I can't imagine that happening though. If my life hung in the balance on the whim of a Christian, do you think I'd openly blaspheme anyone even if I was thinking it? I think not. [10]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1543, Wikipedia.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

History: The Year is 1542

I've uploaded year 1542 to the TSP Wiki...


Here are some one liners...

The Christian Mystic Saint John of the Cross is Born -- As if Jewish mysticism wasn't weird enough. Now we get into Christian mysticism which is a survival subject, believe it or not.

China vs. Portugal: The Ningbo Massacre -- China can't mess around. The Mongols have invaded and now the Portuguese are messing with them. The Emperor declares that all Portuguese on Chinese lands must die. The Spanish count as Portuguese.

Lording Over the Irish -- King Henry the 8th is declared the King of Ireland. This will have serious consequences down the line.

The Christian Mystic Saint John of the Cross is Born

John de Yepes is born this year to a poor weaver family in Spain. His father will die early in life forcing John into difficult jobs to support the family. John will be educated by the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) and eventually join with Sister Teresa of Avila to form the Discalced (shoeless) Carmelites. Sister Teresa is a mystic and she recognizes one of her own kind. He will be called John of the Cross, and be sainted in 1726. Sister Teresa will be sainted in 1622. [1] [2] [3] [4]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
For those who felt uncomfortable with a discussion of Jewish mysticism, now you can feel even more uncomfortable with Christian mysticism. I once asked a Catholic priest about Saint John of the Cross. He gave me the fish-eye and replied, "He's crazy." I laughed. What Saint John would do is to empty himself to create a void where God is drawn into. Since I study Kabbalah, this sounds quite familiar as a meditative technique. One creates a pregnant void. I have practiced this technique but there are warnings about doing it alone. If you are good enough to make this happen you are good enough to get lost in it. Best practice is to study meditation as a group. And please, please, please check in with your local clergy. It is easy to mislead yourself when delving into mysticism of any kind. Why is this a survival topic? Pain management without drugs is one reason. Deep meditation like this can reduce pain to manageable levels but it takes practice.

China vs. Portugal: The Ningbo Massacre

Official relations with Japanese entities took place at the designated port of Ningbo and after some negotiations (read as bribes) the Portuguese were allowed to land there too. The word "Ningbo" means "serene wave" but it has become anything but serene as the Portuguese set up a colony. This was not in the agreement and the Portuguese are setting fire to the villages and pillaging. With a serious Mongol invasion already in progress, the Ming Dynasty doesn't need another headache. Chinese soldiers march into Ningbo and wipe out the Portuguese. All Portuguese, everywhere in China, are sentenced to death. The Spanish are considered "Portuguese" since all those barbarians look alike. The "red-haired" barbarians (the Dutch) are distinguishable from the Portuguese though. [5] [6] [7]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
No fooling around. No misunderstanding. The Portuguese were trying to take over China by intimidation and force. It was ugly. One Portuguese commander said, "A Chinese junk man knew more about courtesy and humanity than a European knight." The Chinese were already a little paranoid about foreigners. In the end they will want foreign goods and gold enough to continue trading, but they are not going to be pushed around. The Portuguese will find other people to push around in the Indies.

Lording Over the Irish

To this point the English have been designated as lords of Ireland who manage the lands on behalf of the Pope. Since the Reformation, the Pope has called into question all monarchs who have abandoned the Catholic Church. Naturally, this has caused some question as to how Ireland will be ruled. Through an act of the Parliament of Ireland, King Henry the 8th of England has been named the King of Ireland. That title will be passed on to his son Edward but when Mary succeeds to the throne, the stuff will really hit the fan. Mary is a devout Catholic. [8]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Mary the 1st of England will succeed to the thrones of Ireland and England in 1553 by collecting an army, marching into London and beheading the previous Queen of England who had ruled all of 9 days. That is not why she will be called "Bloody Mary" though. She will get her reputation by burning 285 Protestants at the stake. Her reign will be a very long 5 years. [9]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1542, Wikipedia.

Monday, March 23, 2015

History: The Year is 1541

I've uploaded year 1541 to the TSP Wiki...


Here are some one liners...

The Insanity Defense: Denied... Mostly -- It is declared illegal to claim insanity to protect you from prosecution if you were sane at the time of the crime. I also talk about rules of evidence and jury nullification.

My Name is Diego Almagro. You Killed My Father. Prepare to Die -- Revenge is a dish best served cold so at dinner, Fernando Pizarro is attacked and killed by Diego, the son of the man Pizarro had executed. I also talk about promises made and not kept and how the sons come back to haunt us.

I Did Not Have Sex With That Woman! -- It becomes illegal to have sex with the Queen of England and not report it. (Apparently the King is an exception.) I also talk about Bill Clinton and the famous "I did not have sexual relations..." lie.

The Insanity Defense: Denied... Mostly

Yet another Treason Act is passed by the English Parliament. It carefully defines when one can plead insanity as a defense. Thus even though you may be insane now, that is not a defense if you were perfectly sane at the time of the crime. And unlike modern times, if you are found guilty of treason in 1541, you can lose your head even if you happen to be insane at the time the axe is about to fall. This Act allows King Henry the 8th to visit justice on suspected enemies without endless insanity pleas... not that he needs any excuses. This year he puts Countess Margaret Pole to death without a trial. Aside from being innocent, the Countess has the bad luck to be put to death while the primary executioner is on vacation. His apprentice is less than skilful with the axe so it takes ten whacks (the first right through her shoulder) before she finally succumbs. King Henry also has his wife's two lovers beheaded this year. What a guy. [1] [2] [3]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
It's difficult to sit still while a man hacks you to death with an axe yet many of the aristocrats managed it. As peasants take on leadership roles, they will become subject to the headman's axe. Peasants generally don't go quietly into that good night. With all the screaming, and crying, a nice beheading just won't be the same. But that is for the future. Regarding the harsh penalties of the law, you can soften its impact by changing the rules of evidence... or using jury nullification. Thus you read in the Bible that a child is put to death for disrespecting his parents yet there is no example of this ever happening. I've seen the rules of evidence and they are strict. I judge that you'd have to be suicidal and your parents would have to want to murder you in order to get a conviction like that. It never happened. [4]

My Name is Diego Almagro. You Killed My Father. Prepare to Die

A few years ago the Pizarro Brothers had Diego Almagro's father executed and left the family penniless. Diego wants revenge and he will have it. Fernando Pizarro has heard that Diego is coming so he holes up in his palace in Lima. Diego goes in after him. Apparently Fernando never thought that Diego would try something so brazen. As Fernando struggles to put on his fighting gear, several of his friends are killed. Fernando manages to kill three of his attackers before he dies with a sword through the throat. Diego, the son of a Spaniard and an Indian woman, declares himself the governor of Peru. [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
In 1977 archeologists found Pizarro's head in a box. The body itself suffered from multiple stab wounds. Regarding revenge, it's an old story. Children grow up, feel the injustice of their father's death and come back to bite you. That is how the King of Denmark lost Sweden. This is why the Middle East has remained unstable all these years. In the early 1900s the British made promises of autonomy to the Arabs who helped them fight the Ottoman Empire. This was when Lawrence of Arabia made his reputation. But Britain and France made a secret side agreement with an OK from Russia to split up the Middle East amongst themselves. The secret got out and now the children of those Arabs no longer trust the word of the West. Because our fathers lied to their fathers, the children will not longer listen to the promises of the West. Given how the USA has kept its promises so far, it is easy to doubt us. [13]

I Did Not Have Sex With That Woman!

It is now high treason to have sex with the Queen of England without reporting it to the King. (Apparently the King is self-reporting.) You have 20 days to report it, so that means a 20 day freebie... and 20 days to live. The latest Queen (check your score card) Catherine Howard will be removed of her crown this year. By early next year she will lose her head. Next in the batter's box is Catherine Parr. She will be his 6th wife and the 3rd one named Catherine. Catherine Parr will be a tough one. The King of England will be her 3rd husband. She will outlive him and marry yet again. [14] [15] [16]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
President Clinton was at a press conference when he was asked about a possible sexual encounter with a White House intern named Monica Lewinsky. He stared into the eyes of the press, pointed a finger and said, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman..." I imagined the press corp looking in the direction where he was pointing to see which woman in the room he had NOT had sex with. The President then completed the sentence, "...Monica Lewinsky." He lied. He also lied to a judge under oath when asked about his sexual assault of a woman in Arkansas (Paula Jones). There was another alleged sexual assault of the wife of a campaign contributor (Kathleen Willey) and the alleged rape of Juanita Broaddrick. It was that last one that probably got him the impeachment. [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] FYI, Alex Shrugged has never met Monica Lewinsky, but he knows the friends of her parents. It is a tenuous connection but it exists.

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1541, Wikipedia.

Friday, March 20, 2015

History: The Year is 1540

I've uploaded year 1540 to the TSP Wiki...


Here are some one liners...

Oh Henry! The King Doubles Up on His Wives -- King Henry the 8th makes two mistakes in a row. Can he be any more like a little kid waving a gun in a candy store?

Global Warming in the Midst of the Little Ice Age -- The wine industry is suffering under punishing heat as the Little Ice Age continues. I talk about my experiences with the Global Cooling scare of the 1960s and 70s.

Our Father Abraham's Synagogue and the West Bank of the Jordon River -- A new synagogue is built in Hebron. I talk about the recent threat by President Obama to return the so-called West Bank to the Palestinians. Can you say death and dismemberment? I knew you could.

Oh Henry! The King Doubles Up on His Wives

Early in the year King Henry the 8th of England marries Anne of Cleves in order to secure certain political ties with Germany. It hasn't worked out. King Henry finds Anne unappealing, and his political maneuvers have already fallen apart. By mutual consent and through an act of Parliament, it is now treason to suggest that there was a marriage between Anne of Cleves and the King. She will continue to live in England with the King supporting her. She will call herself "The King's beloved sister." The King will marry Catherine Howard on the rebound. It is a quickie marriage and another mistake. By next year, Queen Catherine will be hopping into bed with King Henry's close friend: Thomas Culpeper. The affair will be short-lived... for both of them. [1] [2] [3] [4]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The man who pushed for the Anne of Cleves marriage was the late and unlamented Thomas Cromwell who had arranged the downfall of Queen Anne Boleyn. He lost his head on the same day that the King married the new Queen Catherine. Perhaps it was a bad omen. By all rights a sexual incompatibility is grounds for an annulment. Apparently Anne of Cleves was not inspiring in the buff, but that was the King's report so take it with a grain of salt. Queen Anne did not deny the King's report, but few women would dare contradict the King when faced with an axe in their future. [5] [6] [7]

Global Warming in the Midst of the Little Ice Age

The Rhine has run dry, and the River Seine has gone insane. Record temperatures this summer have scorched the earth, ruining the German and French wine industry. The wine industry reached its peak a few year back but it was cut off at the knees during the German Peasants' Rebellion which took place mainly in the German wine-growing regions. (Parts of modern day France and its wine industry are actually part of Germany at this time.) The lack of labor, the break down of infrastructure in the valleys and the ongoing heat and drought have brought that growth to an end. In modern days the Rhine is the busiest river in the world. During World War II the Nazis tried to blow up a bridge across the Rhine. They failed and as the Allied troops came across, a soldier placed a sign that read, "Cross the Rhine With Dry Feet Courtesy of 9th Armored Division." In 1540 you didn't need a bridge. You could walk across the Rhine dry shod. [8] [9] [10] [11]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Well... yearly changes in weather do not indicate general trends in Climate Change. Yet, that is exactly what the shills of Global Warming and Global Cooling want us to believe: that this hurricane or that snow storm validates their hypothesis. When I was a kid, the very people who are warning about Global Warming were warning us of the coming Ice Age. In the 6th grade I wrote a short story about people escaping glaciers. Newsweek magazine was shouting Global Cooling from the rooftops! It is instructive to hear the voice of 1975. I was a college student at the time. What should I have believed when scientists told me this? [12] [13]
The central fact is that after three quarters of a century of extraordinarily mild conditions, the earth's climate seems to be cooling down. Meteorologists disagree about the cause and extent of the cooling trend, as well as over its specific impact on local weather conditions. But they are almost unanimous in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century. If the climatic change is as profound as some of the pessimists fear, the resulting famines could be catastrophic. [14]

Our Father Abraham's Synagogue and the West Bank of the Jordon River

The Jewish community of Hebron [heh-BRAWN] has built a synagogue but struggle to select a name for it. As the legend goes, nine Jewish men are reciting the Yom Kippur prayers with sadness. Yon Kippur is always a tough holiday but Jewish law says that certain very important prayers may only be recited in the presence of a quorum. They are short one man until an anonymous Jew shows up to complete the quorum. When the prayers are completed the man disappears. The congregation believes that it was Father Abraham so they name the synagogue: Avraham Avinu [ahv-rah-HAHM ah-VEE-noo] meaning Our Father Abraham. [15] [16]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The city of Hebron has been the city of death for Jews over the centuries but in 1540 it was no better or worse than any other place. In 1929 the city Arabs were incited to riot and many Jews were massacred. 435 Jews were saved by Arabs. Those Arabs were saints. What the other Arabs were I will not say. The Our Father Abraham's synagogue was destroyed. The site was used as a human toilet and a goat barn. It has since been rebuilt and is now a center of Jewish learning and kabbalah which is Jewish mysticism. In 2015 President Obama has threatened to no longer block UN resolutions that will take away the so-called "West Bank" from Israel. If that happens I fear that Arabs (saintly or not) will feel pressured to defend their homes as any man has a right to do and Jews will feel pressured to defend their homes as any man has a right to do. It will be a slaughter. And it will be the fault of those who have no stake in the outcome... distant fools who will be as surprised at the result as they were when they pushed the Shah of Iran out and got a mass murderer in return. [17] [18] [19]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1540, Wikipedia.

History: The Year is 1539

I've uploaded year 1539 to the TSP Wiki...


Here are some one liners...

When Race Really Matters: The Roodee Races Begin -- The oldest horse track still in existence is built this year because soccer is just too dangerous a sport. I also talk about Global Warming and which past we would like.

The Tampa Bay of Pigs -- Hernando de Soto brings the first pigs to what will be the USA. He will land at Tampa. I also talk about how the human mind is changing.

The Gutenberg Press Comes to the Americas -- That pretty much says it all. The second press won't be available until 1584.

When Race Really Matters: The Roodee Races Begin

The Chester Racecourse for horse racing is established this year because soccer (or football) is too violent a sport. The shoemakers guild and saddle-makers guild have been using an area called "the Roodee" to settle disputes in a game using a leather ball. After broken arms, legs, general maiming and mortal wounds, it was clear that this was more than a friendly game, so soccer games were abandoned, and with permission of Mayor Gee of Chester, the Chester Racecourse is built on the Roodee. Roodee means "Cross Island". It is no longer an island due to a drop in sea level and the general silting of the tidewaters. As the myth goes, a statue of the Virgin Mary once stood on the island and in a freak accident, the statue fell on the wife of the mayor. A cross marks the spot and thus "Cross Island" is the name. When they are not racing horses they will host Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show in 1903. They will also host a mid-summer festival featuring dragons and devils so the race course will be shut down for a time in 1599 and again in 1677 to allow the people of Chester to contemplate their sins. The "Cross" remains in its place and the Roodee remains the oldest horse race in operation today. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
If you use Google Maps to locate Chester you will see that it is an inland town, but in the past it was a port city. Perhaps this is a consequence of Global Cooling and perhaps Global Warming will restore Chester to its former glory. What is more likely is that any glory will turn to horror as the pristine wetlands return. So one wonders which "pristine past" do we wish to restore? Or are we trying to rebuild an idyllic past that never existed in the first place? [6]

The Tampa Bay of Pigs

Hernando de Soto is the new Governor of Cuba. Hernando's previous job was helping Pizarro to become filthy rich conquering the Incas. Now he wants to be filthy rich himself so we sets out to explore what will become the Gulf states of the United States. He lands in present day Tampa, Florida. Like Pizarro he comes well prepared and even introduces pigs to North America to make sure his and future expeditions will be well fed, but he can't get a straight answer from the Indians. They speak of pearls and gold but he can find nothing that compares to Inca riches. The chroniclers call the Indians liars that lead them into ambush after ambush. Hernando will make progress across the region, but he will die of fever along the Mississippi River in what is modern day Louisiana. [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Early historians believed that Hernando went much further than Louisiana but modern historians have documented Hernando at different places at the same time. The three chroniclers of this journey are not necessarily lying but they only write down what seems important to them. This is why so many historians are bald. They tear their hair out in frustration shouting "Why didn't you write that down?" The thought processes are changing during this period of time. The modern mind categorizes and documents its progress. The scientific method is king for modern man, but not for these fellows of the 1500s. For example: they take a 5-day journey north, but later you find out that they took 7 days doing it. What they mean is a 5 day journey if they didn't take a break as if time were a measure of distance. This sort of sloppy thinking will change over time.

The Gutenberg Press Comes to the Americas

The bishop of Mexico has convinced the largest printing company in Seville, Spain to open a branch office in Mexico City. Juan Cromberger sends his branch manager, an Italian printer, to the Americas. His first project is a catechism for the Indians as an introduction to the Catholic faith. Other printing projects will include government notices, various pamphlets and small books supporting church services. [13] [14] [15] [16]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The first news report from the Americas was printed in 1541 when a severe earthquake hit Guatemala. The head line was "Report of the Terrifying Earthquake Which Has Reoccurred in the Indies in a City Called Guatemala." Good headline. You almost don't need to read the story. A second printing press won't be brought to the Americas until 1584 when a fellow named Riccardo will open a print shop in Lima, Peru.

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1539, Wikipedia.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

History: The Year is 1538

I've uploaded year 1538 to the TSP Wiki...


Here are some one liners...

Spaniard vs. Spaniard ... the Fight for Peru -- Don Diego takes Cuzco. The Pizarro brothers take it back. It's a matter of experience.

The Holy League is Wholly Ineffective -- Christians can't seems to keep it together even when faced by the threat of the Ottoman Turks. I also talk about the Treaty of Nice between two guys who are not so nice to each other.

John Calvin Expelled from Geneva... Google Guy Expelled from the Revolution -- I talk about the problem of what to do with the revolutionaries when the revolution is over.

Spaniard vs. Spaniard ... the Fight for Peru

Local Inca rebellions have been growing as the Pizarro brothers consolidate their control over the lands granted to them by the Emperor. Don Diego de Almagro has returned from surveying the lesser lands to the south that the Emperor granted him, including present day Chile. Don Diego is quite rich but the Pizarro brothers are getting filthy rich. That grates on him. There is a question of who owns the city of Cuzco so Don Diego takes the city. The stage is set for a battle of Spaniard verses Spaniard at Las Salinas, a short distance from Cuzco. Many of the Incas join the side of Don Diego hoping to free themselves from the Pizarros but the Pizarro Brothers win decisively. They enter Cuzco unopposed. Don Diego is executed by garroting despite his pleas to spare his life. This will be the last major opposition to the brothers as Inca opposition collapses. [1] [2] [3]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Keep in mind that reports on what really happened are somewhat questionable in detail but correct in general. You can't hide the fact that the Don died and Cuzco was a captured city. Don Diego was really quite comfortably rich, so one wonders why he fought over Cuzco. It must have been a matter of jealousy. Even when you've won the lottery, you might feel a little jealous when someone wins twice as much. It is human nature. What really stuck in his craw was that it seemed so easy for the Pizarros. Don Diego's lands to the south had great promise but could not be easily exploited. The Pizarro Brothers made it all look simple... but the simple things are not always easy. They had failed twice before. It's like the celebrity that takes ten years to become an overnight success. People don't realize how long it takes to develop one's skills before one can take advantage of an opportunity when it finally presents itself.

The Holy League is Wholly Ineffective

The Christians have been fighting the Ottoman Turks on several fronts and this has forced complex alliances that would never form naturally. In Italy, the Venetians have joined forces with Spain, Genoa, the Knights Hospitaller in Malta and the Papal States under Pope Paul the 3rd to form the Holy League. They will join in battle against Barbarossa in the Ionian Sea near Preveza. In their first encounter the Ottoman Turks take heavy casualties but lose no ships while the Holy League loses 10 ships. A second strike is in order, but the Genoans are the historic enemies of the Venetians. The Genoans sail away, figuring they have done enough and frankly the commander personally owns several of the ships and will not risk them further. The Holy League is no more. Barbarossa will return next year to mop up the remaining Christian outposts along the Ionian and Aegean seas. [4] [5] [6]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The Christians know that they all have to hang together or they will all hang separately but they just can't bring themselves to do it for more than a few encounters. There is too much distrust amongst themselves. In this same year the Holy Roman Emperor will sign a peace treaty with the King of France, but they hate each other so much that they refuse to sit in the same room with each other. Pope Paul the 3rd skips back and forth between rooms to broker the deal called the Treaty of Nice. I think there is a pun in there somewhere. [7]

John Calvin Expelled from Geneva... Google Guy Expelled from the Revolution

John Calvin had never meant to go to Geneva. He was originally going to Strasbourg but because of the war between the Holy Roman Emperor and the King of France, he took a side trip and ended up in Geneva. It was just for a night, but he was convinced by a friend to stay and preach there. He is called a pastor but there is no record of his taking vows at this time. His training is as a lawyer, so this preacher/lawyer has been backing "articles" or laws to suppress Catholic practice. Altars are smashed and chaos reigns so that even though the Geneva council is Protestant, they give the boot to several leaders of the movement including John Calvin. He will continue his trip to Strasbourg but he will return to Geneva one day and stay for the rest of his life. [8] [9] [10]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
In every revolution you have people who stir things up and you have people who organize what happens after the revolution. In this case Geneva became Protestant through a lot of rabble rousing but in the end they wanted stability so those who had brought about change had to leave. The same thing happened to Thomas Paine after the America Revolution. He wrote Common Sense that fired the imagination of the revolutionaries, but afterward he lived in exile in France because he couldn't stop stirring things up. The modern example of this is when Egypt fell and Mubarak was overthrown by some guy from Google. (I believe it was Abdel Karim Mardini but I'm willing to be corrected.) It looked like it would be a revolution of the modern moderates, but soon, the old revolutionaries with long-time organization and religious backing out-flanked the Google guy. I remember his face as he stood on that stage nervously looking out at the crowd while the mullahs surrounded him. He looked lost and he was.[11]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1538, Wikipedia.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

History: The Year is 1537

I've uploaded year 1537 to the TSP Wiki...


Here are some one liners...

A Queen Dies and a Prince in Born -- King Henry the 8th finally gets his son. It kills his new wife though. Queen Jane will get a full queen's funeral and her son, Prince Edward, will reign one day.

The Man Who Will Live 187 Years -- A guy in Hungry is born this year and will live 187 years. I talk about the Paleo diet and the fact that no diet will help you live forever.

Baja California and What Survivors Do -- Cortez sends Fernando to find Amazonian women. He finds the Gulf of California and the Baja peninsula. I also talk about how the peninsula was formed and about the modern threat that Tacoma, Washington faces from Mount Rainier.

A Queen Dies and a Prince in Born

Queen Jane Seymour, the third new wife of King Henry the 8th, has given birth to a baby boy... and dies of complications a few weeks later. She was almost 30 years old which is considered middle age for a woman during this time. Unfortunately, death during childbirth is not unusual. The boy is named Edward and will become Edward the 6th at the ripe old age of 9 years old when his father dies from complications due to being so full of ... food. King Henry will become rather obese in the next few years. As he eats, one wonders what is eating him. Queen Jane was a kind and gentle soul. She receives a full queen's funeral and is laid to rest in St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. King Henry will be laid to rest next to her when he finally passes. [1]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Well... I'm short for words. By all reports Queen Jane was a nice lady. She probably died from infection. This happened a lot to women because "Cleanliness is next to Godliness" hasn't made the rounds in the medical profession yet. Doctors would often walk from an autopsy to the birthing room to deliver a baby with no washing of the hands. (Palm to forehead.) Now you know why they send you to boil water. King Henry won't marry again for three years yet negotiations begin almost immediately for a fourth wife. His advisor, now the Privy Seal Thomas Cromwell, is pulling for a German woman, Anne of Cleves for political reasons. That will be a mistake. She will marry King Henry in early 1540 and be out the door in 6 months. Cromwell will lose his head for this mistake. Few tears will be shed. [2] [3] [4] [5]

The Man Who Will Live 187 Years

Petratsh Zartan is born this year in a small village in Hungry. He will live all of his 187 years in this village. His secret is eating a small cake called kalatschen, followed by milk and a swig of fruit brandy... probably a distilled wine called pálinka. He will be reasonably vigorous up until a few days before his death when he will walk a mile to the post office and back. [6] [7]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
It's difficult to credit this man's age. My sense is that his relatives enjoyed playing up how old he was. I doubt his long life (however long it was) had much to do with what he ate or drank... not entirely anyway. Some people are naturally blessed with long life. I watched a PBS special where they investigated what made people long-lived. The "secret" is to have parents who lived a long life. There is no pill or fruit or special exercise that will allow us to live forever or even 187 years. A good diet makes our years better though. My sons follow a paleo-diet, and my daughter has gone gluten-free. It has done them well but I can no longer follow such a plan. I can approach it, but I can no longer be as strict as I once was. I was in bed for two days last time I was strict. I promised I would never do that again. So... my advice is to eat well, and sensibly. All things in moderation. If I was told that I could live 200 years and all I had to do was to eat cooked carrots morning, noon, and night I'd probably ask, "What do I have to eat to live 150 years?"

Baja California and What Survivors Do

The Baja California peninsula is not in modern day California but south of it. In the 1500s it was thought to be an island. Cortez has heard that this island is populated by women warriors carrying spears of gold, so he sends Francisco de Ulloa to find out what is true and what is not. Francisco, sails up the Vermillion Sea which is now the Gulf of California. He will name it the Sea of Cortez after his commander and discover that Baja is not an island. Also... no Amazonian women with golden spears. [8] [9] [10]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
My brother loves to fish in the Gulf of California. Due to a number of natural disasters over millions of years the Gulf of California (or Sea of Cortez) has retained a rich marine life. The San Andreas fault travels right down the middle of it so when you hear people worry about California slipping into the Pacific Ocean, remember that the type of geological cataclysm that created the Baja peninsula also created the Rocky Mountains. That type of activity is long past. Natural disasters along the Pacific coast today are tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanoes. We remember when Mount Saint Helens blew up, but what about other active volcanoes? Mount Rainier in the State of Washington has the city of Tacoma in the cross-hairs. Pull up Google Maps for Tacoma. Could the paths for pyroclastic flows be any more obvious? Tacoma is going to make Pompeii look like a picnic in the park. The city of Olympia is in better shape and Seattle might make it. I don't want to frighten anyone but survivors think of the possibilities BEFORE something happens. [11] [12] [13] [14] [15]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1537, Wikipedia.

Monday, March 16, 2015

History: The Year is 1536

I've uploaded year 1536 to the TSP Wiki...


Here are some one liners...

The Queen is Dead; Long Live the Queen; The Queen is Dead... Again -- Queen Catherine dies, and Queen Anne miscarries, causing King Henry to arrest her and behead her. This is a palace coup

The 2nd Act of Henry the 8th and the Moral Hazard of Helping the Poor -- King Henry the 8th is really on a roll. He passes an Act that makes it treasonous to repeal the Act... making it a forever law. Apparently "forever" will be a few years. He also passes a law regarding Vagabonds and making sure they are working. I talk about Unemployment Benefits in the United States and the danger of giving too much.

Norway is Nowhere -- Noway becomes part of Denmark and will not win its independence again until 1905. I quote Ronald Reagan on the loss of freedom.

The Queen is Dead; Long Live the Queen; The Queen is Dead... Again

Catherine, the Queen of England, has died. She was a faithful Catholic so when the Pope had refused King Henry the 8th's request to annul the marriage, she naturally insisted that she was still Queen. Catherine had given the King a daughter, Mary, but the King wanted a male heir. King Henry had the Church of England annul the marriage and married Anne Boleyn who quickly gave birth to a daughter, Elizabeth. Now Anne must produce a male heir, but on the day of Queen Catherine's funeral, Queen Anne miscarries. It was a boy, but that doesn't matter now. It was her fourth pregnancy and her last chance. The King has their marriage secretly declared invalid. She is arrested and accused of crimes of incest, adultery and conspiracy to murder the King. Queen Anne is found guilty of treason along with her brother and the various men who were accused of adultery with her. They will lose their heads before the year is out. [1] [2] [3]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
This was a palace coup. Aside from King Henry's suspicions about Anne Boleyn, it is more likely that his advisor, Thomas Cromwell, was driving the downfall of Anne. Along the way he took out several inconvenient people except Anne's father who seemed to be going along with this charade. Anne, herself, was not trained to be a queen. She was trained to be a mistress like her sister, Mary Boleyn. So when Anne became Queen, King Henry took on mistresses and expected Anne to shut up about it. She was very unhappy about this development and whenever she had a complaint everyone heard it. This tendency to run off at the mouth is where the accusation of conspiracy to murder the King came from. And regarding their invalid marriage, several years before their marriage, the King had been boffing Anne's sister, Mary! This created a relationship in the eyes of the Church that had to be accounted for. This normally wasn't a big problem, but it served the King's purposes that it should be a big problem when he needed to dump Anne.[4] [5] [6]

The 2nd Act of Henry the 8th and the Moral Hazard of Helping the Poor

It's a big year for King Henry the 8th. After putting his wife to death for treason, how does he fill the time? The Second Succession Act took Queen Anne's daughter, Elizabeth out of the line of succession, and removed Mary the daughter of Queen Catherine as well. This Act also makes it an act of treason to repeal the Act itself. He then disbands all monasteries, convents, friaries and sells their assets, making some provision for those displaced. He also takes all their money. Since these monasteries are the primary means of helping the poor, the King will begin taxing workers to help the able-bodied workers who are out of work. (Similar to unemployment insurance.) Anything else? Yes. He makes illegal any and all communication or even praise of the Pope. And last but not least, the King will rebuild the ship the Mary Rose which will sink in 1545... something about failing to close the gun ports as they came about. The Mary Rose won't be found again until 1971. [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
King Henry the 8th made a distinction between the helpless poor (that is... those too ill to work) and able-bodied migrant workers. Because farm work is seasonal, migrant workers had become a burden to local charities. Since the King has disbanded the monasteries (the primary help for the poor) government became the helping hand. It also implemented regulations that were less than charitable. In the modern day, FDR passed the Social Security Act which included Unemployment Insurance. Overburdened charities were grateful but it caused their demise as the government took their place. According to the Libertarian economist Charles Murray in his book "Losing Ground," unemployment benefits (as they were implemented originally) were the least harmful way to help the poor. But today the benefits have produced what is called "a moral hazard". When an insurance benefit is too high and the premium is too low, you will make happen the very thing you are insuring against. That is why a business with low-cost fire insurance suddenly bursts into flames and why unemployment insurance (as it is implemented today) causes unemployment. [14] [15] [16]

Norway is Nowhere

The kingdom of Norway is dissolved. It has been annexed by Denmark. (Have a nice day.) Ever since Sweden won its independence from Denmark and broke the Kalmar Union, the region has been unstable. King Christian the 2nd of Denmark was deposed a few years ago by the Rigsraad (RIKS-rowed), the Council of the Realm which is majority Catholic, and replaced him with his uncle, Frederick, but Frederick has alarming sympathies with Martin Luther and his son, Christian the 3rd, is an even BIGGER Lutheran. A civil war has been raging and finally ends when King Christian marches into Copenhagen. The new King disestablishes all Catholic monasteries like King Henry the 8th of England has done, sells off their lands and takes their money. In the past Norway maintained it's borders and institutions as a separate kingdom under two crowns... the Crown of Norway and the Crown of Denmark worn by a single person. Now it will be a single kingdom under Christian the 3rd. [17] [18] [19] [20] [21]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
This melding of two kingdoms will never be complete. Passing a law does not erase a border. People still remember where the line was drawn. Norway will be dragged into several ill-considered wars and will not win its independence again until 1905, proving President Ronald Reagan's observation that...
"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free." [22]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1536, Wikipedia.