Monday, July 18, 2016

History: The Year is 1829

I've uploaded year 1829 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

Policing by Consent: The British Bobbie -- Sir Robert Peel's principles of policing are implemented. We get Scotland Yard, British bobbies and I talk about the bombing of a sniper in Dallas, Texas.

The Smithsonian Institution and "Feel Good" Boondoggles -- A chemist makes a very large contribution for science so Congress battles over using the money for pet projects.

Greece is Now a Nation -- It is all over but the shouting. The "shouting" will be the treaty. It will take a couple of years.

In Other News -- Rocket locomotive, photography, and the accordion.

Policing by Consent: The British Bobbie

After the UK's recent prison reforms, it seems reasonable to reform the police force... except that there is no police force as we would think of it in the modern day. The so-called "police" look more like a military force ready to shoot first and ask questions later. That is why Sir Robert Peel has passed into law his Peelian Principles for a modern police force. He has established the Metropolitan Police Service or "Scotland Yard" as it is called because the rear entrance to the building opens onto a street of the same name. Peel's Principles boil down to this: A policeman is a member of his community paid to give service to his community with impartiality, mindful that he doesn't make the law, nor dispense justice, but with a minimum of force, he brings criminals to a court of law to FACE justice. He prefers to prevent a crime now, rather than catch a criminal later, and with common-sense laws, a policeman can gain the trust and cooperation of his community. The test of policeman doing his job well is that crime is at a minimum, and he doesn't seem to be doing very much at all. [1] [2] [3]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
France had an organized police force before the UK. Essentially, the archers manning the walls of the Palace were reorganized into a police patrol. In modern day Paris, the policemen are still called "the archers", but probably not to their faces. The term "Bobbie" is a favorable name for a policeman, and it is derived from Sir Robert Peel's first name. The less favorable name of "Peeler" comes from his last name. I can feel the idealism behind Peel's Principles, but what I see happening today is a police force becoming an occupational force again. While I'm sure it makes sense to use a bomb to blow up a sniper in Dallas, I would have felt better if it had been the National Guard or Tom Clancy's "Rainbow Six" doing that. Not the police. Blowing up criminals doesn't have that "Officer O'Reilly walking the beat" kind of community feel that I'm looking for from our police force. (No offense meant. It just makes me nervous.) I see why the police must take a defensive posture for their own safety, but it is a symptom of something gone wrong elsewhere. Something fundamental. [4] [5] [6]

The Smithsonian Institution and "Feel Good" Boondoggles

An English chemist named James Smithson dies and for reasons unknown, he bequeaths $500,000 (a little over 13 million in modern dollars) to the United States government for the construction of the Smithsonian Institution to further scientific inquiry. The Congress is delighted and wrestles to gain control of the money for their pet projects, but the sacks of gold sovereigns won't be sailing to America any time soon. Smithson has a nephew. By stipulation of the will, Smithson's nephew is going to have to die before the Congress gets the money. (I hope he has a good bodyguard.) The nephew won't pass away until 1835. In the meantime, John Quincy Adams (the former President who lost to President Andrew Jackson) will run for Congress and win. He will set the Smithsonian Institute money aside as an endowment and use the interest to maintain the Institution long-term. In fact, he had proposed such a project in his 1825 Presidential address and was ridiculed for his "lighthouses of the skies" proposal to build an astronomical observatory among other things. Once Adams gets into Congress he is going to make science happen. In fact, John Quincy Adams is going to be a lot more effective as a Congressman than he ever was as President... especially when it comes to fighting slavery. [7] [8] [9] [10]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Speaking of frittering away money that is supposed to be used for science, I just about choked on my hummus (mashed chickpeas and yes, I really eat that stuff) when I heard that the Obama Administration was directing NASA to reach out to the Muslim community to make them "feel good" about their contribution to math and science. Charles Bolden is the NASA Administrator and while I'm all for educating the general public about science, I don't see how teaching science to Catholics, Jews or Muslims is any different than teaching it in general. I'm calling BS on this one. (Boondoggle on Steroids!) I listen to the AstronomyCast podcast with Frasier Cain and Dr. Pamela Gay. Although I've never heard her comment on this subject, Pamela has gone into detail on how difficult it is to get funding for critical scientific space projects. Why NASA would waste its money on anything like helping Muslim countries "feel good" is beyond me. FYI, the very first history segment I did was for the year 1258. It was a report that the Muslim supercivilization that everyone talks about collapsed when the Mongol hoards came barreling through Baghdad and turned it into rubble. [11] [12] [13] [14] [15]

Greece is Now a Nation

I can't let this year go by without saying that Greece essentially won it's independence from the Ottoman Empire and the Egyptians this year. They had been fighting for a long time and they had a lot of help from other nations. It's all over but the shouting now. The "shouting" will include hammering out a final treaty in the next couple of years. Borders across the world are changing. New countries are coming into being. If I mentioned them all I'd be talking about nothing else. The modern world is taking shape. [16]

In Other News

  • Stephenson's "Rocket" locomotive wins the Rainhill Trials. His locomotive distinguishes itself by not blowing up... a definite plus for passenger confidence and safety. He wins the contract for the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. [17] [18]
  • The photographic camera is in development. The invention won't sell well, so France will buy the patent and give away the technology for free. Thank you France! [19]
  • The accordion is patented. "Cause she's playing all night / And the music's all right. / Mama's got a squeezebox. / Daddy never sleeps at night!" ([Click Here]) [20] [21]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1829, Wikipedia.

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