Today in History — Monday, Jan. 24 (Stephanie Romanov/Lilah Morgan on Angel)
By The Associated Press
Today is Sunday, Jan. 24, the 24th day of 2010. There are 341 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Jan. 24, 1848, James W. Marshall discovered a gold nugget at Sutter’s Mill in northern California, a discovery that led to the gold rush of ’49. Now “All the Gold in California” has been outlawed as ordinary currency, so that somehow the Constitutional mandate that only gold and silver be used as tender for all debts, public and private, has been precisely turned on its head, yet no one seems to care.
On this date:
In 1742, Charles VII was elected Holy Roman Emperor during the War of the Austrian Succession. The Supreme Court, in a landmark ruling last year about this time, held that large corporations and millionaires will be entitled to spend all that they want on future “wars of succession” in the United States.
In 1908, the Boy Scouts movement began in England under the aegis of Robert Baden-Powell. I was a Cub Scout who made it into Webelos, but never into a full Boy Scout. My Charlie son started as a Bear (I had started as a wolf, the year before) but made it into full Boy Scout-hood and finally just before graduating High School (about this time last year) became a full-fledged Eagle Scout—so far as I know he is the first Eagle Scout in our family. It is ironic to think of the conceptual relationship between Scouting and “Hitler Youth” and various communistic youth groups, as Baden-Powell’s own name seemed to transcend the Anglo-Germanic cultural and linguistic line. The younger girl’s equivalent “Brownies” (pre-Girl Scouts, but allies in the famous cookie sales) are even in color coding reminiscent of the “Brown Shirts” of the 1920s and ’30s, and even more recently a commentator on Buffy the Vampire Slayer referred to the “Potential Slayers” in Season VII as “Brown Skirts”—in that Vampire Slayers exist to make war on a disfavored ethnic minority who hate and shun the Cross and are burned by Holy Water (and the general association is such that LA Jewish Weekly, in December of 2009, felt compelled to run a front page article, “Jews are not Vampires.”
In 1924, the Russian city of Petrograd (formerly St. Petersburg) was renamed Leningrad in honor of the late revolutionary leader. (However, it has since been renamed St. Petersburg.) No country on earth (except I suppose Germany between 1914-1989 and/or the American South from 1856-1976) has ever gone through anything like the 75 year convulsions and roller-coaster ride through political and economic systems that Russia experienced moving from Tzarist rule at the beginning of 1917 through the foundation and elaboration of Soviet Communism in the LEAST developed nations of Europe to the final collapse of that system by 1992. Yes, 75 years that saw several levels of civilization wiped out and rebuilt over the corpses of millions. Not as bad or brutal as the cultural revolution in China, the irony is that China is now generally seen as the more successfully capitalistic of the two countries that (when I was a kid) were emblematic of the struggle for world communism. If had to be a Russian and could choose, I think I would have liked to have lived as an adult in the first quarter of the 20th century, because the hopes and aspirations of revolutionary communism were so noble, before the horrors of the Stalinist purges wiped out all illusions of communist decency.
Trotsky was the last decent communist, but he died at the hands of Stalin’s agents in Mexico City during August of 1940, one year after the Stalin-Hitler Pact. Trotsky had fled and finally settled in Mexico after being expelled from the Communist Party after Stalin’s rise to power. As summarized in Wikipedia (as the entry existed at 9:00 pm on Monday, January 25, 2010)(I appreciate the commentator who pointed out that in my original version I had mistakenly given the year of Trotsky’s death as 1938—sorry folks, I do these things from memory and I wasn’t thinking—I wonder how many college students in the United States today know anything about Trotsky or the Socialist Internationals or for that matter, how many college students or other Americans can recall or imagine what Mexico City was like before it was choked by overpopulation and automotive pollution.
My grandparents visited regularly from the 1920s-1980s described it as one of the most climatically perfect spots on earth—until about the year I was born, unfortunately, so I never saw it that way either, although they continued to visit the opera there until the year after my grandfather died—they knew Placido Domingo when he was a student at the Conservatorio Nacional de la Musica in Polanco, Mexico City, in the 1950s and were instrumental in bringing him to Dallas, where he performed in the Dallas Civic Opera in 1961—they took me to New York when I was 8 for his Metropolitan Opera Debut…I later became a great fan of Domingo myself and think he has far outshown Pavrotti and Carreras throughout his career….especially in his performances of Wagnerian opera, of which, ironically enough, anti-Fascist Leon Trotsky was supposedly a great fan):
As the head of the Fourth International, Trotsky continued in exile to oppose the Stalinist bureaucracy in the Soviet Union, and was eventually assassinated in Mexico by Ramón Mercader, a Soviet agent. Trotsky’s ideas form the basis of Trotskyism, a term coined as early as 1905 by his opponents in order to separate it from Marxism. Trotsky’s ideas remain a major school of Marxist thought that is opposed to the theories of Stalinism. He was one of the few Soviet political figures who were never rehabilitated by the Soviet administration.
(But to return from this lengthy digression to the historical record for January 24….):
In 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Churchill concluded a wartime conference in Casablanca, Morocco.
In 1965, Winston Churchill died in London at age 90.
In 1978, a nuclear-powered Soviet satellite, Cosmos 954, plunged through Earth’s atmosphere and disintegrated, scattering radioactive debris over parts of northern Canada.
In 1985, the space shuttle Discovery was launched from Cape Canaveral on the first secret, all-military shuttle mission.
In 1987, gunmen in Lebanon kidnapped educators Alann Steen, Jesse Turner and Robert Polhill and Mitheleshwar Singh. (All were eventually released.)
In 1989, confessed serial killer Theodore Bundy was executed in Florida’s electric chair. People like Ted Bundy definitely make capital punishment seem like an attractive option, but there is some irony that rare serial killers and their execution are such iconic events in the history of mankind, while the mass imprisonment of hundreds of thousands, in fact millions, of other Americans hardly makes the news at all. The Federal government can indict and convict almost anyone of almost anything, because the Federal prosecutors so closely control the grand juries and Federal Judges so closely control the petit juries that independent thought among jurors is probably rarer than death by drowning in showers…. Anglo-American juries were historically not so impotent, and all Americans should reflect on what can be done to restore the power of juries.
I have very little that’s good to say about the jurisprudence of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, but he does consistently favor restoration of power to juries. Of course, he probably does so only because of a slavish dedication to popular and legislative choice and decisions that it is almost impossible to find a legislatively enacted statute which is so bad as to be found “unconstitutional” in Scalia’s eyes.
In 2003, Tom Ridge was sworn in as the first head of the new Department of Homeland Security. The spirits of the Stalin’s NKVD and Himmler’s SS were present at this inauguration, and they applauded loudly. Nothing should be higher on any Patriotic American’s list of national priorities than the abolition of Homeland Security and most of its components and powers, as well as the full and 100% repeal of the 2001 Patriot Act (as amended through this day) and its predecessor the 1996 Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) which together have all but outlawed the Constitution, not only for the living, but I discovered today, even for the dead: corpses and other “human remains” entering the United States are controlled and regulated by Homeland Security and private parties cannot arrange such transportation—only government licensed funeral homes! We live in a Maoist version of America—and this particular amendment to the Patriot Act and the powers of Homeland Security was only enacted 7 months ago, according to what they told me at “Delta Care” (the division of Delta/Northwest Airlines that is responsible for the “cargo” transportation of “human remains”…..). As Ronald Reagan said, and as I always quote: “The most terrifying phrase in the English language is: ‘we’re from the government and we’re here to help you.’” RUN do not walk when you hear any version of those who support such policies…..
Ten years ago: Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Al Gore posted victories in the Iowa caucuses.
Five years ago: Authorities in Iraq said Sami Mohammed Ali Said al-Jaaf, an al-Qaida lieutenant in custody, had confessed to masterminding most of the car bombings in Baghdad.
The United Nations broke with years of protocol and commemorated the 60-year anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camps, directly linking its own founding with the end of the Holocaust in some of the strongest language ever. This is, I think, a very real direct link. It is not too much to say that the Nazi Holocaust is the foundation for modern Globalist “Religion.” It is the credo and the sanctus of the modern political “eucharist” of Thanksgiving for Globalism and World Peace. The U.N., of course, is the Agnus Dei (lamb of God) that taketh away the sins of the world by enforcing world uniformity and peace. The Communist Chinese Government of Mao Tse Tung replaced the Free Chinese remnants of Chiang Kai-Shek on Taiwan in 1971 thanks to Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon’s efforts. Despite the nominal commitment of the United States in general and the Republican Party in particular to the defeat of world communism, the man who was then U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations states as follows:
Ambassador George H. W. Bush: “Fellow Delegates, the issue is clearly marked now: inclusion or expulsion; impartiality or one-sided and arbitrary punishment. If this is not an important question, what is?”
Was George H.W. Bush a “sleeper” agent for the Communists? His career and that of his son can be described in large part as the arc of the final triumph of Globalist Internationalism in the United States over the isolationist patriotism of Senator Barry Goldwater who proposed again in 1971 that the United States withdraw from the U.N. or at least cut all funding. Nixon and Kissinger created and sponsored the political career and advancement of Ambassador George H.W. Bush. Goldwater created and advanced the career of Governor Ronald Reagan, but when Reagan became President, it was the Nixon-Bush “moderate” approach which seemed to dominate the government, and prevent Ronald Reagan from keeping any part of his 1980 campaign promises to turn back the disastrous effects of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal and Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society. Richard Nixon had started out his political career as a virulent anti-communist but achieved his plaee in history by legitimizing Mao Tse-Tung and Chou En-Lai, the greatest criminal murders in world history, whose least effective and lowest henchmen make Ted Bundy look like one of Baden Powell’s Boy Scouts…. much (I feel certain, without knowing for sure) to the misery of Winston Churchill’s ghost…..accompanied by much spinning in the grave….
One year ago: Pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, who safely landed a crippled US Airways jetliner in the Hudson River, received a hero’s homecoming in Danville, Calif. President Barack Obama met with his economic advisers after asking Americans to support his economic package as a way to better schools, lower electricity bills and health coverage for millions who lose insurance. Brazilian model Mariana Bridi, 20, died after contracting an infection that forced doctors to amputate her hands and feet. Alissa Czisny won the women’s title at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Cleveland. Katie Stam of Indiana was crowned Miss America.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Ernest Borgnine is 93. I will always remember him as Quentin McHale in McHale’s Navy—always one of my favorites as the son of a Navy man and the grandson of another who made worldwide shipping safer and cleaner….
Actor Jerry Maren (“The Wizard of Oz”) is 91. Actor Marvin Kaplan (“Top Cat”) is 83. Cajun musician Doug Kershaw is 74. Singer-songwriter Ray Stevens is 71.
Singer-songwriter Neil Diamond is 69. Singer Aaron Neville is 69. Actor Michael Ontkean is 64. Actor Daniel Auteuil is 60. Country singer-songwriter Becky Hobbs is 60.
Comedian Yakov Smirnoff is 59. Bandleader-musician Jools Holland is 52. Actress Nastassja Kinski is 51.
Rhythm-and-blues singer Theo Peoples is 49. Country musician Keech Rainwater (Lonestar) is 47. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan is 44. Comedian Phil LaMarr is 43.
Olympic gold medal gymnast Mary Lou Retton is 42. I will never forget her performance and personality in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics if I live to be 120 years old….
Actress Stephanie Romanov (Lilah Morgan on Angel) is 41. Rhythm-and-blues singer Sleepy Brown (Society of Soul) is 40. Actor Matthew Lillard is 40.
Actress Merrilee McCommas is 39. Actor Ed Helms is 36. Actress Tatyana Ali is 31. Rock musician Mitchell Marlow (Filter) is 31. Actress Mischa Barton is 24.
Thought for Today: “God gives us relatives; thank God, we can choose our friends.” — Addison Mizner, American architect (1872-1933). It’s not necessarily the same thought, though it’s related, but my grandmother always used to say that the police really shouldn’t investigate or prosecute interfamily murders at all, “because if next of kin don’t know who deserves to live or die, nobody does.” I think Oscar Wilde might have been sympathetic to this philosophical position…..