Monday, February 6, 2017

History: The Year is 1946

I've uploaded year 1946 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

The Jewish Attack on British Headquarters -- The British rule of Palestine gets in the way of a Jewish desire for a homeland.

The Bikini Experiments and the Control of Nuclear Power -- I talk about blowing up the Bikini Atoll, the control of nuclear power and the bathing suit.

An Iron Curtain is Dividing Europe -- The Soviet Union is corralling war refugees and doing... something. Churchill complains that an "iron curtain" has cut Europe in two. I talk about bomb shelters.

Notable Births -- See below.

This Year in Film -- See below.

This Year in Music -- See below.

In Other News -- See below.

The Jewish Attack on British Headquarters

FYI, Alex Shrugged is Jewish, but he will do his best to remain balanced.
Currently, the British have the mandate to govern Palestine, but their colonial interests are in conflict and they are running out of money as their war debt mounts. To save money, the British are limiting Jewish immigration, but this has trapped Jews in European Displacement Camps. Jews enter the Promised Land regardless of British immigration law, only to be turned away by British bayonets. (It looks bad.) Some Jews have formed a militia group called the Haganah (hah-gah-NAH). It will become the core of Israeli Defense Forces and it is under military discipline, but the Irgun (ear-GOON) is a Jewish terrorist group with all the ugliness that entails. Are there Arab terrorists? Yes, but the British are the ones in charge, so they are the focus. The King David Hotel is called "the nerve centre of British rule in Palestine", and that makes it a military target. The hotel switchboard receives a bomb warning from the Irgun, but it is ignored and now it is too late. Over 700 pounds of explosives take out part of the south wing, killing 91 people. Great Britain becomes very firm, as they should, but the more they crack down, the more they look like Nazis. The British are on their way out. [1] [2] [3]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Dr. Ruth Westheimer is a sex therapist, but back then she was a member of the Haganah (ha-gah-NAH). In an interview she claimed that she could still disassemble and reassemble a machine gun with her eyes closed. Obviously, she feels perfectly fine having been part of the Jewish militia. Jews could no longer depend on the good will of others. If they wanted a homeland, they would have to carve one out for themselves. After the murder of one third of all Jews, the debate was over. They would take back the Promised Land or die trying. It was not necessarily a religious movement. Often, religious Jews objected to the establishment of a Jewish homeland without the leadership of the Messiah. For a better understanding of this religious disagreement, I suggest the movie, "The Chosen" (1981). Two Jewish boys from radically different religious groups, find friendship, but separate over the controversy of a Jewish homeland. The book is excellent as well. [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]

The Bikini Experiments and the Control of Nuclear Power

The military have been doing a bomb damage assessment of the atomic blasts that hit Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The US Navy is especially concerned with the kind of damage they might sustain (and the kind of damage they might inflict) in a nuclear engagement at sea, so they assemble a fleet of decommissioned ships including the submarine USS Skate, the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga, and the Japanese battleship Nagato, along with cargo ships, and landing craft. The fleet is sent to the Bikini Atoll for a test. The ships are carefully placed along with ammunition loads, food and military equipment to measure the effects of the radiation. Cameras are rolling and airplanes on remote control will be sent through the mushroom cloud. (The narrator of the film I am watching says that flying through a mushroom cloud is "certain death!" Yet I know that a Japanese flyer cut into the mushroom cloud over Nagasaki and lived, but don't try it at home.) The Saratoga survives Test Able with very little damage, but Test Beta is an underwater detonation. Ships leap from the water and fall back to their destruction. Admirals and generals see it with their own eyes. My God. What have they done? And what are they going to do now? [9] [10]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
As they say, "You can't put the genie back in the bottle,", but they tried with something called the Baruch Plan (pronounced bah-ROOKH). In Hebrew, it means "blessed", and the word is often used as a name. Bernard Baruch was an economic advisor to Woodrow Wilson and FDR. He was famous for meeting with government officials while sitting on a bench in Lafayette Park. His plan called for turning over all nuclear arms to a central clearing house called the United Nations which met for the first time the previous year. It also called for regular inspections to check for violations. The Soviet Union objected because it perceived the UN as a tool of the United States. (I WISH!) The Soviets had their own secret "Manhattan Project" going as did the British. This first nuclear disarmament plan failed, but there were many more thereafter. One more interesting thing came out of the Bikini experiment... the French bathing suit of the same name. It exploded onto the scene, or made quite a splash. Pick your puns. [11] [12] [13]

An Iron Curtain is Dividing Europe

" is not impossible that tragedy on a prodigious scale is unfolding itself behind the iron curtain which at the moment divides Europe in twain."
-- Winston Churchill, addressing the Commons on the subject of missing war refugees. [14]
Occupied Europe has been divided up amongst the Allied forces for the purposes of keeping order and to act as interim governments while nations get on their feet again. Not all of it comes from the well of human kindness, though. The Soviet Union has taken the opportunity to expand into other territories such as Iran, Syria, Libya, Bulgaria, A good part of Germany, and Poland are under Soviet control, and secrecy. Thus the term "Iron Curtain" has come into use. Over time, the curtain will become a fence, often of barbed wire. Other times it will be made of brick and stone such as in Berlin. One wonders why guard towers are needed to keep people within the Soviet Paradise... or is it to keep the corrupting influence of the West out? Probably a little of both. Thus begins the West's policy of "containment" of the Soviet Union that will continue into the modern day... long after the Soviet Union is no more. [15] [16]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
It was not all "communists under the bed!", and silliness like that. The Soviet threat was real enough, but ignorance of what was happening there caused imaginations to run wild, and people became jumpy. You can see that jumpiness in TV shows like the Twilight Zone episode "The Shelter", when a Civil Defense Warning (meaning a possible nuclear attack) causes a panic, and a man with a bomb shelter must fend off his neighbors who had laughed at his preparations only the day before. Today, an underground home makes sense in terms of saving fuel for heating and cooling, and as a shelter from tornadoes. But would I build an underground shelter for the sole purpose of surviving a nuclear attack? Not now, but back in the 60's and 70s? You betcha. [17] [18]

Notable Births

  • Bill Clinton (Living): President of the United States after George H. W. Bush. [19]
  • George W. Bush (Living): President of the United States after Bill Clinton & son of George H. W. Bush. [19]
  • Laura Bush (Living): First Lady and wife of George W. Bush. [19]
  • Donald Trump (Living): President of the United States after Barak Obama. [19]
  • And in Entertainment...
  • -- The Directors (Living): Oliver Stone, Steven Spielberg, and Ivan Reitman. [19]
  • -- In Music (Living): Dolly Parton, Naomi Judd, Keith Moon and more. [20]
  • -- Sylvester Stallone (Living): Rocky series, Rambo series, and Demolition Man. [19]
  • -- Tim Curry (Living): Rocky Horror Picture Show, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, and The Hunt for Red October. [19]
  • -- Susan Sarandon (Living): Rocky Horror Picture Show, Thelma & Louise and a political activist. [19]
**Note: (Living) means they were alive when I checked.

This Year in Film

  • Song of the South: Disney's version of Uncle Remus stories. [21]
  • The Best Years of Our Lives: Returning US servicemen readjusting to normal life. [21]
  • It's a Wonderful Life: Starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed. A discouraged man wishes he was never born. [21]

This Year in Music

  • (I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons: Nat King Cole. [22]
  • The Christmas Song: Nat King Cole. [22]
  • Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!: Vaughn Monroe. [22]

In Other News

  • The ENIAC computer is introduced (Pronounced: EN-ee-ack): It can calculate a trajectory 2400 times faster than a human. (Why would someone need a trajectory calculated? Hmmmm?) [23]
  • Ho Chi Min resumes his fight against French occupation: He asks for US recognition of Vietnam's independence. The OSS (an early version of the CIA) had been supporting him against Japan, but now... "Ho Chi Who?" [23] [24] [25] [26]
  • World War 2 continues: For the purposes of military occupation of Germany and Japan, the war will continue for 5 more years. [23] [27]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1946, Wikipedia.

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