Thursday, March 2, 2017

History: The Year is 1961

I've uploaded year 1961 to the TSP Wiki...

As always, Alex Shrugged's opinions are his own. Other people's work are their own. I include them here for the sake of completeness and to provide a second method of access to the material for the TSP history segment.

* Lost in a Military Industrial Complex -- Contributed by Alex Shrugged

* The CIA's Invasion of Cuba -- Contributed by Alex Shrugged

* And it's a fake. -- Contributed by Southpaw Ben

* Notable Births -- See below.

* This Year in Film -- See below.

* This Year in Music -- See below.

* In Other News -- See below.


Lost in a Military Industrial Complex

Contributed by Alex Shrugged
"Were the Soviet Union to sink tomorrow under the waters of the ocean, the American military-industrial complex would have to remain, substantially unchanged, until some other adversary could be invented."
-- George F. Kennan, 1987. [1]
President Dwight D. Eisenhower says farewell to the nation a few days before John F. Kennedy takes office. In his television address, Eisenhower warns the nation of the problem that "the military industrial complex" can present and the responsibility the informed citizen has in judging whether their tax dollars are being spent wisely. After all, in this modern world, a large military is required so as to discourage other countries (like the Soviet Union) from warring with the United States or its European allies. On the other hand, the military should not become so large that it simply becomes a means of keeping military suppliers swimming in dough... so to speak. And with his closing remarks, Eisenhower steps down from the world stage, the last President to measure each of his actions against the Constitution, and to limit himself when he judged that it did not grant him the power to act. [2]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The economist Friedrich Hayek warned that industrialists who have tasted the power that a war-time economy gives them will not be satisfied when the war is over. That is true. With the US-backed NATO presence in Europe, European nations no longer spend as much on their military to defend against the looming Soviet threat. What Soviet threat, you ask? Good question. The Soviets are long gone. While Russia is not exactly the angel of the world, it is not Satan either, but NATO needs a reason to live, and so does the industrial complex that supplies it. Thus whether or not President Trump has a cozy relationship with Russia, it is not clear to me why we were being so aggressive against Russia under the Obama Administration. It was like President Obama was trying to start a war. Unhappy with Russia? OK. Start a War? No way. [3] [4] [5]

The CIA's Invasion of Cuba

Contributed by Alex Shrugged
Many Cubans escaped to the United States after Fidel Castro nationalized all their property. Now they want payback, so the CIA has been training a cadre of exiled Cubans called Assault Brigade 2506 (Brigada Asalto 2506). The objective is the Bay of Pigs on the south side of Cuba. (Havana is on the north side, a little northwest of the Bay of Pigs.) Originally conceived and funded by President Eisenhower (R), President Kennedy (D) signs off on this invasion. They launch from Guatemala and Nicaragua. It does not go well. B-26 bombers hit the coastal areas of Cuba before the invasion, and 4 are shot down making it obvious that the US government is involved. Kennedy withdraws the promised air cover, and naval coverage is nonexistent leaving the Assault Brigade with their backsides hanging out in the wind. After three days, Assault Brigade 2506 surrenders. By next year, private donors will negotiate through the United States to give $53 million in food and medicine to Cuba in exchange for over a thousand prisoners taken in the Bay of Pigs Invasion. President Kennedy and First Lady Jackie Kennedy will greet them at a welcome back ceremony held at the Orange Bowl. [6]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
President Bill Clinton nearly did the same thing when Haiti was taken over by a military junta. While using fiery language to threaten the military junta, Clinton sent President Jimmy Carter, General Colin Powell and Senator Sam Nunn to read them the riot act. Colin Powell explained to them how easy it was for US bombers to drop a smart bomb down the chimney of any building they'd care to name. He wasn't threatening. He was explaining to them, man-to-man, what kind of trouble they could be in if it came to a real battle of arms. Meanwhile, back at home, Clinton was getting agitated with all the delays, so he released the air assault forces. Colin Powell, called Clinton and told him that if the assault came too soon, that would make Carter, Powell and Nunn automatic hostages. (And the heads of a dead President, Senator and General on pikes wouldn't look too good on TV.) Luckily, the negotiations concluded in success and Haiti was returned to a democracy. God save us from young Presidents who think they know how to fight a war. [7] [8] [9]

And it's a fake.

Contributed by Southpaw Ben
On January 5, 1961, a man walks into the US consulate in Rome, signs a confessions and provides a severed thumb that had been kept as a memento as proof of the crime. The crime? The forgery of 3 terracotta warrior statues, and the man was sculptor Alfredo Fioravanti who was hired to assist in the forgeries. Between 1915 and 1921 the Riccardi family sold 3 forged statues to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, with just one of the statues going for $40,000. In 1960 testing cast some suspiscion onto the authenticity of the sculptures[10], and when the confession was made, it provided all the proof needed for the Museum to official declare the three statues as forgeries on February 15.
My Take by Southpaw Ben
While this story on it's own isn't very important in the grand scheme of history when compared to other events taking place this year, it provides a good lesson to keep in mind when looking through history. When there's a conspiracy involving multiple people, the more people there are, and the more elaborate the conspiracy, the more likely there is to be a leak. The Riccardi family had done several smaller forgeries in the past, and hadn't been caught until they decided to go big, and hire outside help for it. That outside help was Alfredo Fioravanti who eventually came clean about what happened. When people start talking about giant conspiracies and no one has let anything slip or come clean about it, it's a lot less likely that it's true than something that only involved a few people.

Notable Births

  • Diana, Princess of Wales (died 1997, age 36): Died in a car crash. Conspiracy theories abound. [11]
  • Barack Obama: 44th President of the United States (D). [11]
  • George Stephanopoulos: Bill Clinton campaign operative and ABC news reader. [11]
  • Sean Hannity: Fox News TV host, radio talk show host and conservative commentator. [11]
  • Ann Coulter: Syndicated columnist, conservative author and Fox News contributor. [11]
  • And in Entertainment...
  • -- Eddie Murphy: Comedian and actor in Beverly Hills Cop, Coming to America and more. [11]
  • -- In Music: Toby Keith, and Billy Ray Cyrus. [11]
  • -- George Clooney: O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Ocean's Eleven, and The Monuments Men. [11]
  • -- Michael J. Fox: Back to the Future, Doc Hollywood, and The American President. [11]
  • -- Lea Thompson: Back to the Future, and Red Dawn. [11]

This Year in Film

  • West Side Story: Puerto Ricans and white hoodlums sing and dance their way into the mainstream. [12]
  • Flower Drum Song: Chinese people sing and dance their way into the mainstream. [12]
  • The Parent Trap: Twins separated at birth switch places to meet their divorced parents. (Divorce is brought into the mainstream.--alexshrugged) [12]

This Year in Music

  • Stand By Me: Ben E King. [13]
  • Let's Twist Again: Chubby Checker. [13]
  • Surrender: Elvis Presley. [13]

In Other News

  • Yuri Gagarin becomes the 1st man to orbit the Earth: 3-weeks later Alan Shepard goes sub-orbital and lands 300 miles away. (Essentially, straight up and down.--alexshrugged) [14] [15] [16]
  • The K-19 Soviet submarine suffers a near nuclear meltdown: 22 crewmen sacrifice themselves to jury-rig a new cooling system for the reactor and save the boat. Thereafter, it is nicknamed "The Hiroshima". [14] [17] [18]
  • The US experimental nuclear reactor melts down: The central control rod is pulled out too far. The sudden vaporization of water causes an explosion. 3 men die of their injuries, but were already overexposed to radiation. [14] [19]
  • The portrait of the Duke of Wellington is "misappropriated": The thief is convicted of an unauthorized removal of an object on public display. (Stealing is such an ugly word.--alexshrugged) [20]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1961, Wikipedia.

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