Thursday, October 25, 2018


This weeks topic is History. Let's take a look at what is written about the past. 

I suspect most of us take history for  granted when we are in school. Many are even bored by history. That is a pity because most people are not even aware of real history. History is written by the winners. It includes the built-in bias of the winners and so most history is spun to reflect the winners point of view. I'd wager it is safe to say there is as much unsaid as is logged and labeled history. 
It has become fashionable these days to speak in glowing terms of the people who drove the engine of industry that grew the USA into the titan it is today. We have conveniently forgotten they were called Robber Barons for  reason. Robber baron - a person who has become rich through ruthless and unscrupulous business practices (originally with reference to prominent US businessmen in the late 19th century). These days the current version typically runs a large investment fund. But little is said about our robber baron history.

Take a look at Native Americans - without doubt one of the most repressed groups in history. Take a look at the term genocide - the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular ethnic group or nation. What  happened to Native Americans at  the direction of the US government was genocide but rarely is the term used. Now we grumble about the gambling facilities built on tribal lands. Giving the tribes sovereignty over the land we so graciously gave up in treaty after treaty was fine as long as the land was useless but when the tribes found a way to get something of value, many were not pleased. Our treatment of Native Americans is nothing short of blatant racism.

Winston Churchill - the great statesman from the UK is looked upon as a racist war criminal to people in India. Blogger Aman Spandan says "Churchill was a staunch imperialist who never wanted India to be independent. He had expressed his disgust at 'a half naked fakir parleying with the British' when Mahatma Gandhi attended the Round Table Conference. Again, as the British PM, he refused to talk about granting India independence, saying he had not 'become His Majesty's first minister to preside over the liquidation of the British empire'. So, his other qualities apart, Churchill was no friend of India and it is natural for Indians to have no love for him.

During the devastating Bengal famine, it was the abominable Churchill who refused to divert food grain produced by Indians to save starving Indians.

By 1943 hordes of starving people were flooding into Calcutta, most  dying on the streets." 

That is a significant chunk of history to gloss over when discussing Churchill.

History you probably were not taught in school ............

  • Did you know that Joe Kennedy Sr - patriarch of the Kennedy clan was an anti Semite and Nazi sympathizer? 
  • After Pope Gregory IX associated cats with devil worship, cats throughout Europe were exterminated in droves. This sudden lack of cats led to the spread of disease because infected rats ran free. The most devastating of these diseases, the Bubonic Plague, killed 100 million people. Karma
  • Beginning in 1909 (and continuing into the 1970s), the Australian government instituted a policy of removing Aboriginal children from their parents and teaching them to reject their Aboriginality.
  • In 1917, Margaret Sanger was jailed for one month for establishing the first birth control clinic.
  • African-American men were not deemed equal members of the Mormon Church until 1978.  This was not a pure "color" issue as there were Polynesians who were never excluded, but interestingly enough BYU developed a nationally ranked football team shortly after the Mormon church president spoke to God and this change happened. Coincidence? Probably. Read about this "revelation" in Wikipedia here.
  • After finding a 36,000 year old steppe bison preserved in the ice, Alaskan zoology professor R. Dale Guthrie and his team ate some of its flesh. Guthrie said "the meat was well aged but still a little tough." They should have cooked it low and slow. 
  • The Spanish Inquisition issued a death sentence to all of the residents of the Netherlands. 
  • BeforeAbraham Lincoln became a politician, he was a champion wrestler. With more than 300 bouts under his belt, Lincoln only lost  one match in his career and was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall Of Fame in 1992.
  • Tsutomu Yamaguchi was in Hiroshima when the first atom bomb was dropped. He then traveled home to Nagasaki the day before the second atom bomb was dropped. He survived both and lived to be 93.
  • During the 1800s in the United States, it was considered a cruel and unusual punishment to feed lobster to prisoners and convicts.
  • When the American Civil War started, Confederate Robert E. Lee owned no slaves. Union general U.S. Grant did.
  • When famed scientist Nikola Tesla passed away, many of his private documents, possibly including a blueprint for a hypothetical time machine, were viewed by scientist John G. Trump, who happens to be the uncle of President Donald Trump.
  • President Lyndon B. Johnson held many important meetings, including press briefings, from the White House toilet. In fact, he even had a phone installed in the bathroom so he could regularly save time and kill two birds with one stone
One cannot help but wonder how historians will view POTUS 45 when his story is written. Clearly the mainstream media has chronicled his continual lies and in spite Trump's protestations,  he should go down in history as the greatest liar of all time. That is going to blow these lists up and make for some sad, fun reading.

That concludes this weeks fun with history post. I must admit my original intent was to do a heavier piece focusing on the dark side of history. Maybe some other time. Be sure to check Ramana's Musings to see what his take on history is. See ya next week,  same Bat time, same Bat channel.

Before Abraham Lincoln became a politician, he was a champion wrestler. With more than 300 bouts under his belt, Lincoln only lost one match in his career and was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall Of Fame in 1997 of 5Until the early 20th century in Mongolia, criminals could be locked up in a wooden box as punishment, sometimes left to die of starvation8 of 56