Rules for Radicals
If you ever wanted to know how anarchy got such a bad name, welcome to the world of nihilism (NYE-ill-is-em). It's like "annihilation", but less fun. A few decades ago a philosopher figured out that critical reasoning breaks down every ideal into smaller and smaller elements until they are nil... nothingness. In other words, there are no standards. There are no ideals. There is no love, no religion and certainly no God. This is "nihilism," but the idea hasn't caught on until recently. Russian anti-conformists have been shocking the sensibilities of society, so the nihilists are sent to Siberia. It is a cold exile in rough prisons with regular beatings. They return with a new attitude. They are no longer anti-conformist, anti-government beatniks. They are now beatniks with guns and bombs. The pamphlet "Catechism of a Revolutionist" is published this year and it will serve as a constitution for the nihilists... a sort of "Rules for Radicals". Government officials will be attacked... often shot... and blown to bits. When the perpetrators are caught they can give no comprehensible reason for their actions. Certainly it is not due to any hate. They simply want government to back off, but their actual goals are vague. It seems to officials that they are describing a minimalist government or no government at all. In other words, Nihilism, Anarchy and Terrorism are now in the same basket. Until Tsar Alexander is assassinated, it will only get worse.    
Samuel Clemens is Mark Twain
Ever since Samuel Clemens became popular with that ridiculous story about the "Jumping Frog of Calaveras County", he has been doing well writing short stories and articles for the newspapers. He talked a number of newspapers into funding his travels through Europe and the Holy Land. In exchange, he submitted letters detailing his adventures overseas. The letters have been collected and published this year under the title "Innocents Abroad." It will become his best seller in his lifetime and the best seller of travelogues ever. Clemons has been using the pen name "Mark Twain." There are numerous explanations for why he chose such a name, but Clemens clearly states the reason. The guy who originally used the pen name had died recently, so he grabbed it. Isaiah Sellers was a riverboat captain. The Captain apparently wrote articles for the New Orleans Daily Picayune as he plied the waterways of the Mississippi. The river changes its depths from season to season so soundings are taken using a weighted rope. When the rope measures two fathoms (or 12 feet) the cry goes out "mark twain!" meaning the second mark on the line. It is the minimum depth for safe passage for a river boat.  
The Golden Spike
The date is May 10th, 1869. The place is Promontory Summit in the Utah Territory. Union Pacific's Engine Number 119 meets Central Pacific's Jupiter. This is the final stretch in creation of the first US Transcontinental railroad. Several other commemorative ceremonies have already taken place with various spikes of differing makeup. This final spike is made of a gold and copper alloy, A hole has been pre-drilled, the spike is dropped into the hole and gently tapped into place by Leland Stanford, Governor of California, owner of the railroad, founder of Stanford University and for all intents and purposes, a robber baron, but right now, all that matters is that there is now a railway that binds the country together in more ways than one. This is real. The golden spike will be pulled out and placed on display at Stanford Museum. Several things are written on the spike, but one thing stands out above all the others.... THE WRONG DATE! The lettering on the spike reads May 8, 1869. Due to weather problems and a labor dispute, the ceremony was delayed, but they got it done. 
In Other News
- The Suez Canal is open for business. This canal saves the trip around the tip of Africa. The Empress of France attends the opening ceremony since this is largely a French effort. 
- Celluloid is invented...(sort of). J. W. Hyatt experiments with a patented plastic substance and discovers a substitute for ivory. (Elephants trumpet his achievement.) Billiard balls soon follow. Flexible celluloid for film will be in use by 1889. Patent disputes will be resolved eventually.  
This Year in Wikipedia
Year 1869, Wikipedia.
- Nihilism - definition of nihilism (2016). Retrieved on 13 September 2016. “Political belief or action that advocates or commits violence or terrorism without discernible constructive goals.”
- Beatnik - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 13 September 2016. “Kerouac introduced the phrase 'Beat Generation' in 1948, generalizing from his social circle to characterize the underground, anticonformist youth gathering in New York at that time. The name came up in conversation with the novelist John Clellon Holmes, who published an early Beat Generation novel, Go (1952), along with a manifesto in The New York Times Magazine: 'This Is the Beat Generation' In 1954, Nolan Miller published his third novel, Why I Am So Beat (Putnam), detailing the weekend parties of four students.”
- Narodnaya Volya - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 13 September 2016. “Moreover, the radical intelligentsia believed it axiomatic that individuals and the nation had the power to control their own destiny and that it was the moral duty of enlightened civil society to transform the nation by leading the peasantry in mass revolt that would ultimately transform Russia to a socialist society. These ideas were regarded by most radical intellectuals of the era as nearly incontestable, the byproduct of decades of observation and thought dating back to the conservative Slavophiles and sketched out by such disparate writers as Alexander Herzen (1812-1870), Pyotr Lavrov (1823-1900), and Mikhail Bakunin (1814-1876).”
- The Big Lebowski: Nihilists. youtube.com (2016). Retrieved on 13 September 2016. “"We don't believe in NOTHING!"”
- "Hillary Clinton’s Doctor Says Pneumonia Led to Abrupt Exit From 9/11 Event - The New York Times", SEPT. 11, 2016. Retrieved on 13 September 2016. “Hillary Clinton is being treated for pneumonia and dehydration, her doctor said on Sunday, hours after she abruptly left a ceremony in New York honoring the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks and had to be helped into a van by Secret Service agents.”
Rules for Radicals - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 13 September 2016. “The rules:
1. 'Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have. 'Power is derived from 2 main sources – money and people. 'Have-Nots' must build power from flesh and blood.
2. 'Never go outside the expertise of your people.' It results in confusion, fear and retreat. Feeling secure adds to the backbone of anyone.
3. 'Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.' Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty.
4. 'Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.'If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules.
5. 'Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.' There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.
6. 'A good tactic is one your people enjoy.' They’ll keep doing it without urging and come back to do more. They’re doing their thing, and will even suggest better ones.
7. 'A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.' Don’t become old news.
8. 'Keep the pressure on. Never let up.' Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new.
9. 'The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.' Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist.
10. 'The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.' It is this unceasing pressure that results in the reactions from the opposition that are essential for the success of the campaign.
11. 'If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.' Violence from the other side can win the public to your side because the public sympathizes with the underdog.
12. 'The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.' Never let the enemy score points because you’re caught without a solution to the problem.
13. 'Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.' Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.”
- "Hillary Clinton, Saul Alinsky and Lucifer, explained - The Washington Post", July 20, 2016. Retrieved on 13 September 2016. “I agreed with some of Alinsky's ideas, particularly the value of empowering people to help themselves. But we had a fundamental disagreement. He believed you could change the system only from the outside. I didn't. Later, he offered me the chance to work with him when I graduated from college, and he was disappointed that I decided instead to go to law school. Alinsky said I would be wasting my time, but my decision was an expression of my belief that the system could be changed from within.”
- The Hillary-Alinsky-Lucifer Connection - The American Spectator. spectator.org (July 26, 2016). Retrieved on 13 September 2016. “Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history… the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer.”
- Alinsky, Saul David. Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals. Vintage. ISBN 9780394717364.
- Fathom - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 13 September 2016. “A fathom is a unit of length in the imperial and the U.S. customary systems equal to 6 feet (1.8288 metres), used especially for measuring the depth of water.”
- Mark Twain - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 13 September 2016. “Twain claimed that his famous pen name was not entirely his invention. In Life on the Mississippi, he wrote: Captain Isaiah Sellers was not of literary turn or capacity, but he used to jot down brief paragraphs of plain practical information about the river, and sign them 'MARK TWAIN', and give them to the New Orleans Picayune. They related to the stage and condition of the river, and were accurate and valuable; ... At the time that the telegraph brought the news of his death, I was on the Pacific coast. I was a fresh new journalist, and needed a nom de guerre; so I confiscated the ancient mariner's discarded one, and have done my best to make it remain what it was in his hands – a sign and symbol and warrant that whatever is found in its company may be gambled on as being the petrified truth; how I have succeeded, it would not be modest in me to say.”
- Mono Lake - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 13 September 2016. “The lack of an outlet causes high levels of salts to accumulate in the lake. These salts also make the lake water alkaline.”
- Alex Shrugged notes: My account benefited greatly from several lectures in the Modern Scholar series entitled "Twain and Dickens: Capturing 19th Century Britain and America."
- Transcontinental Railroad - Inventions - HISTORY.com (2016). Retrieved on 13 September 2016. “By early 1869, the companies were working only miles from each other, and in March the newly inaugurated President Ulysses S. Grant announced he would withhold federal funds until the two railroad companies agreed on a meeting point. They decided on Promontory Summit, north of the Great Salt Lake; some 690 track-miles from Sacramento and 1,086 from Omaha.”
- How Abraham Lincoln Mobilized the Economy for War and Peace. american_almanac.tripod.com (2016). Retrieved on 13 September 2016. “Lincoln was determined to ``conquer space to the west. At one point, when the project seemed dead for lack of funds, he arbitrarily redefined the Rocky Mountains as starting in their foothills, so that more money could be paid to the builders under the legislated formula--$32,000 in the mountains, as against only $16,000 per mile in the flatter land. It was said at the time, ``Abraham's faith moves mountains.”
- Golden spike - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 13 September 2016. “Although the Promontory event marked the completion of the transcontinental railroad line, it did not actually mark the completion of a seamless coast-to-coast rail network: neither Sacramento nor Omaha was a seaport, nor did they have rail connections until after they were designated as the termini. The Mossdale Bridge, which was the final section across the San Joaquin River near Lathrop, California, was finally completed in September 1869 connecting Sacramento in California. Passengers were required to cross the Missouri River between Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Omaha, Nebraska, by boat until the building of the Union Pacific Missouri River Bridge in 1872. In the meantime, a coast-to-coast rail link was achieved in August 1870 in Strasburg, Colorado, by the completion of the Denver extension of the Kansas Pacific Railway.”
- Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. Simon and Schuster, 432-433.
- Prohibition Party - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 13 September 2016. “The 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, did not pass until 1920. Yet, in 1869, the Prohibition Party became the first to accept women as party members and even gave women who attended its first national convention full delegate rights. This was the first time any party had afforded women this right. These women 'spoke from the floor, entered debates, introduced resolutions, and voted on the party platform'. Women's suffrage appeared on the Prohibition Party platform in 1872. In 1892, the platform included the idea of equal pay for equal work.”
- Recollections of the Empress Eugénie. archive.org (2016). Retrieved on 13 September 2016.
- Celluloid - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 13 September 2016. “In the 1860s, an American, John Wesley Hyatt, acquired Parkes's patent and began experimenting with cellulose nitrate with the intention of manufacturing billiard balls, which until that time were made from ivory. He used cloth, ivory dust, and shellac, and on April 6, 1869, patented a method of covering billiard balls with the addition of collodion. With assistance from Peter Kinnear and other investors, Hyatt formed the Albany Billiard Ball Company (1868–1986) in Albany, New York, to manufacture the product.”