Tuesday, September 13, 2016

History: The Year is 1869

I've uploaded year 1869 to the TSP Wiki...


Here are some one liners...

Rules for Radicals -- I talk about the nihilist movement in Russia and how it relates to the Marxists, the Black Panthers and Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals".

Samuel Clemens is Mark Twain -- Twain publishes his best selling book. It will be his best ever. I also talk about shaggy dog stories and the idioms of the time without actually using any of them.

The Golden Spike -- The transcontinental railroad and how Abraham Lincoln moved mountains.

In Other News -- The Prohibition Party, Suez Canal and Celluloid.

Rules for Radicals

If you ever wanted to know how anarchy got such a bad name, welcome to the world of nihilism (NYE-ill-is-em). It's like "annihilation", but less fun. A few decades ago a philosopher figured out that critical reasoning breaks down every ideal into smaller and smaller elements until they are nil... nothingness. In other words, there are no standards. There are no ideals. There is no love, no religion and certainly no God. This is "nihilism," but the idea hasn't caught on until recently. Russian anti-conformists have been shocking the sensibilities of society, so the nihilists are sent to Siberia. It is a cold exile in rough prisons with regular beatings. They return with a new attitude. They are no longer anti-conformist, anti-government beatniks. They are now beatniks with guns and bombs. The pamphlet "Catechism of a Revolutionist" is published this year and it will serve as a constitution for the nihilists... a sort of "Rules for Radicals". Government officials will be attacked... often shot... and blown to bits. When the perpetrators are caught they can give no comprehensible reason for their actions. Certainly it is not due to any hate. They simply want government to back off, but their actual goals are vague. It seems to officials that they are describing a minimalist government or no government at all. In other words, Nihilism, Anarchy and Terrorism are now in the same basket. Until Tsar Alexander is assassinated, it will only get worse. [1] [2] [3] [4]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Lenin used the Russian nihilist movement as a model for his Marxist revolution. In the 1960s, Eldridge Cleaver launched his Black Panther movement using "Catechism of a Revolutionist". The communist radical, David Horowitz, described the Black Panthers in his book "Radical Son". The organization eventually became self-indulgent and then violent. It frightened Horowitz into becoming a Republican. Oddly enough, Eldridge Cleaver did too. Nihilist movements have no governors, no sense of accountability to anyone but themselves. Nihilism can be powerful. Suddenly all things are possible... from the most beautiful to the most grotesque. It is the annihilation of values. There is a book entitled "Rules for Radicals," written by Saul Alinsky. It outlines a plan for overwhelming government institutions, humiliating one's opponents, and forcing them to use violence that will ultimately discredit those institutions. As a bit of a joke, Alinsky dedicated his book to Lucifer. I don't take that too seriously, but I wonder who Alinsky's "radicals" are today? Well... maybe I can look into that tomorrow... if Hillary is feeling better. [5] [6] [7]
"Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history… the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom -- Lucifer."
-- Dedication in the book "Rules for Radicals", first edition, by Saul Alinsky... removed from current editions. [8] [9]

Samuel Clemens is Mark Twain

Ever since Samuel Clemens became popular with that ridiculous story about the "Jumping Frog of Calaveras County", he has been doing well writing short stories and articles for the newspapers. He talked a number of newspapers into funding his travels through Europe and the Holy Land. In exchange, he submitted letters detailing his adventures overseas. The letters have been collected and published this year under the title "Innocents Abroad." It will become his best seller in his lifetime and the best seller of travelogues ever. Clemons has been using the pen name "Mark Twain." There are numerous explanations for why he chose such a name, but Clemens clearly states the reason. The guy who originally used the pen name had died recently, so he grabbed it. Isaiah Sellers was a riverboat captain. The Captain apparently wrote articles for the New Orleans Daily Picayune as he plied the waterways of the Mississippi. The river changes its depths from season to season so soundings are taken using a weighted rope. When the rope measures two fathoms (or 12 feet) the cry goes out "mark twain!" meaning the second mark on the line. It is the minimum depth for safe passage for a river boat. [10] [11]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
OK... is that true? It is hard to say. If you read much of Mark Twain you soon realize that he is the master of the "shaggy dog" story. In telling of his adventures at Mono Lake, California, he writes that his dog was raw from his many injuries, and none too bright. It was a hot day on the boat so the dog jumped into the lake to cool off. That was a big mistake. Mono Lake is a salt lake and filled with chemicals that would clean all the coffee stains from your shirt. That dog howled as he frantically swam to shore. Then the dog started running, and as far as Twain knows, he is still running. That is a shaggy dog story. Is it true? Maybe. Twain's stories are based on his experience. In a sense, he is Tom Sawyer... a rascal. He is not Huck Finn. Twain's language is always precise. His characters use recognizable idioms of the day and I am avoiding using some of those idioms right now because... well... reading Huckleberry Finn is prohibited in schools for a good reason. It's a great story... perhaps the best writing of the day... but it too accurately portrays life along the Mississippi before the War Between the States. I read the book as a child, and my Mother told me she had to correct my language after that. Thanks, Mom! She was right. [12] [13]

The Golden Spike

The date is May 10th, 1869. The place is Promontory Summit in the Utah Territory. Union Pacific's Engine Number 119 meets Central Pacific's Jupiter. This is the final stretch in creation of the first US Transcontinental railroad. Several other commemorative ceremonies have already taken place with various spikes of differing makeup. This final spike is made of a gold and copper alloy, A hole has been pre-drilled, the spike is dropped into the hole and gently tapped into place by Leland Stanford, Governor of California, owner of the railroad, founder of Stanford University and for all intents and purposes, a robber baron, but right now, all that matters is that there is now a railway that binds the country together in more ways than one. This is real. The golden spike will be pulled out and placed on display at Stanford Museum. Several things are written on the spike, but one thing stands out above all the others.... THE WRONG DATE! The lettering on the spike reads May 8, 1869. Due to weather problems and a labor dispute, the ceremony was delayed, but they got it done. [14]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The tracks didn't actually go all the way to the coasts at that time. That came later, and it wasn't exactly a non-stop, direct line. Passengers had to disembark and travel by boat across the Missouri River until the railroad got its bridge built, but the main elements were all there. The railroads were loaned the money by the government and paid by the mile for laying the track. They were paid more for laying rail in the mountains than on the flat, so when they needed more funding, Abraham Lincoln redefined the Rocky Mountains to start in the foothills. That solved the initial funding problems and thereafter it was said, "Abraham's faith moves mountains." In fact, during the War between the States, President Lincoln was often called "Father Abraham" as well as other names, but let's not go there. The railroads did pay the government back with interest. [15] [16]

In Other News

  • The Prohibition Party is formed in Chicago. It makes women full party members and will add women's suffrage to the Party platform. It's influence will decline after Prohibition is repealed. [17] [18] [19]
  • The Suez Canal is open for business. This canal saves the trip around the tip of Africa. The Empress of France attends the opening ceremony since this is largely a French effort. [17]
  • Celluloid is invented...(sort of). J. W. Hyatt experiments with a patented plastic substance and discovers a substitute for ivory. (Elephants trumpet his achievement.) Billiard balls soon follow. Flexible celluloid for film will be in use by 1889. Patent disputes will be resolved eventually. [17] [20]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1869, Wikipedia.

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