Monday, November 7, 2016

History: The Year is 1894

I've uploaded year 1894 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

A Treason Forged in Dishonor -- France sends an innocent man to Devil's Island. I talk about the importance of protecting the rights of the accused for the sake of our souls.

Honesty is not the Best Policy for the Mid-Term Elections -- With the ongoing depression, the Democrats lose big time. I talk generally about the current elections.

Notable Births -- Jack Benny, Nikita Khrushchev and Aldous Huxley.

In Other News -- The Plague bacillus, the Pullman Strike and Labor Day.

A Treason Forged in Dishonor

Germany has occupied northern France for several years now. The local dialects are German-based languages and Yiddish, spoken by the Jews of the region, borrows heavily from High German. Thus when secrets about the new French super-cannon is leaked to the Germans, suspicion immediately falls upon Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a Jew born in the German-occupied French territories. His Army career has been exemplary except for that dust up with a General at the academy who didn't want Jews becoming officers. (At this time many Jews are officers and even General officers, but bigotry is still with us.) Dreyfus is given the opportunity to confess to his treason, but he refuses. (He also refuses the apply the pistol to his head that his confessor supplies.) The military justice system has not changed since Imperial times. In fact, a soldier is sent to the firing squad this year after he flings a button at the judges during his court martial. So, the military court is mostly about setting examples to encourage the others (pour encourager les autres). Documents are forged, and every odd fact or remembered turn of phrase is twisted into an act of treason. The Captain is convicted. By next year he will be publicly humiliated, his sword broken, and he will be sent to Devil's Island. Years later he will be offered a pardon. Dreyfus will respectfully tell them where to shove their pardon. Eventually, he will be exonerated and returned to service as a Major. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The Germans had the French military totally penetrated with spies, but once the public was focused on Dreyfus, it became politically unacceptable to follow any other path. Like the Italians in Louisiana who were lynched for being found "not guilty" of murder or the famous trial of Sacco and Vanzetti in 1921, the public simply KNEW who was guilty or innocent, and things like fair trials or rules of evidence that interfered with the correct result would not be tolerated. We promised never to forget Sacco and Vanzetti, but I have found very few who still remember that trial and the evidence that was forged. Those men were executed for a crime they might not have committed. Don't shed too many tears, though. They were not nice men, but it was our duty to PROVE THAT THEY DID IT, not only to protect the accused but TO PROTECT OUR SOULS! We are burdened with a herd mentality. We say that we resist the herd, but before we know it, we are wondering how we got caught up in it all. We band together to fight those who would attack our family, our friends, or our community. That is a good thing, but it can turn into a bad thing when we are not careful. [8]

Honesty is not the Best Policy for the Mid-Term Elections

It is a landslide for the Republicans. The mid-term elections are focusing on economic issues because the US economy is languishing in a depression. President Grover Cleveland has been a union buster which has put him at odds with many of his Democrat allies. The southern states have been natural free-traders because their large agricultural base and small industrial capability mean that tariffs only make the stuff they buy cost MORE without the benefit of saved jobs or protected markets. Nevertheless, they know that protective tariffs are popular. In the past they tried to soft-sell the reduction of tariffs by explaining that the loss of jobs and markets would be negligible. But now the Democrats have changed tactics. They are speaking honestly about tariffs. They call it "robbery and fraud." It is a matter of principle to eliminate all protective tariffs. Republicans heap the blame for the economy and lost jobs onto the Democrats and it works. The Democrats lose their massive majority in the House. Democrat go from 218 seats last election to only 93 seats. In some states not a single Democrat is elected to the House, and in others only one. One Democrat calls it "...the greatest slaughter of the innocents since Herod the Great." Catholics continue their move toward Republicans despite every effort by the Democrats to paint Republicans as anti-Catholic. The Republicans will maintain their majority until the 1910 election. [9] [10] [11]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
I don't have much of an opinion about the 2016 election since it is entirely too wacky. It looks like Hillary ducked an indictment for her email scandal, but I expect some last minute revelation that will be so shocking that only a particularly gullible 3-year-old would think it happened by accident. Still... it will be disturbing enough to cause pause. For example: a campaign manager might be found dead of an apparent suicide with four bullets in his back. People are disgusted with the election, and that changes the number of voters that will show up. The Presidential election always draws additional voters to the polls, but I am going to strangle someone if I hear one more time, "It is going to be a record turnout!" All things being equal, every presidential election cycle should result in a "record turnout". As our population grows, so does our voter turnout. Nevertheless, the voters seem enthusiastic, and with an unconventional campaign on both sides, it seems to be a question of who will do a face-plant first? Could it be both? Maybe. [12] [13] [14]

Notable Births

  • Jack Benny (Comedian and master of the pregnant pause. "I'm thinking! I'm thinking!") [1] [15]
  • Nikita Khrushchev (As leader of the Soviet Union, he will say, "History is on our side. We will bury you!" referring to NATO members and Israel.) [1] [16] [17]
  • Aldous Huxley (Author of the dystopian novel, "Brave New World.") [18]

In Other News

  • The Plague bacillus is discovered. Alexandre Yersin discovers the little pest while in China so the name of the bacteria is Yersinia pestis. [19] [20]
  • 4,000 factory workers strike after the Pullman (Sleeping) Car Company reduces wages. Eugene V. Debs organizes an obstruction of the railroads. President Cleveland sends out the Army. He can't do that? Just watch him. 30 are dead. [21]
  • Labor Day is made a federal holiday. President Cleveland is trying to mend fences with the unions. It's not going to help. [22]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1894, Wikipedia.

No comments:

Post a Comment