1913

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It's a Duesy of a Car

The Duesenberg Automobile & Motors Company is open for business in Des Moines, Iowa. The two brothers, Frederick and August Duesenberg, are building racing cars and marine engines, but by the 1920's they will be producing luxury automobiles. The Duesenberg will earn the distinction of being the "Rolls Royce" of American cars... the very best that money can buy in terms of luxury, quality of design and materials. Soon "It's a Duesy," will describe anything that is the biggest and/or the best. [1] [2] [3]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
So Rolls Royce is still around. Where is Duesenberg? One could say that the Great Depression did them in, but what really did it was government regulation. With crushing poverty across the nation, the government felt compelled to free up resources to help the poor. This presumed that somehow when a rich person bought a set of fabulously expensive tires for his Duesy that some poor guy was denied tires for his Model T Ford. Government regulators turned to experts to craft new regulations... experts that were hired by Duesenberg's competitors. In time the Duesy was edged out of the market. And that was how the phrase "It's is a Duesy!" was replaced by "It's the Cadillac of its class". Now the term "Cadillac" is being edged out. Obamacare was enacted to regulate the high cost of medical care. The people with "Cadillac Insurance Plans" are heavily fined. (They don't call it a fine, but it is a fine.) Soon, all that will be left will be "Model T" plans that most doctors will not accept. Look for a Duesy of a shake up. Only a few insurance companies will be left standing, and the doctors accepting those plans will be sporting tattoos and smoking heavily.

The Sudden Suicide of Diesel

Rudolf Diesel, the inventor of the diesel engine, has disappeared. He boards a steamer in Antwerp for a business meeting in London. He takes a late dinner and asks for an early wake-up call. The next morning, Dr. Diesel is not in his cabin. A quick search reveals an overcoat left neatly folded near the after deck railing. 10 days later, a fisherman pulls a body out of the sea. With heavy weather coming he must abandon the body, but he collects a few items from the pockets. Diesel's son identifies them as belonging to his father. Later speculation suggests that Diesel was murdered for selling secrets to the British, but it is more likely that he committed suicide due to financial losses in real estate speculation and in the stock market. He leaves his wife about £1,000 pounds sterling or three-quarters of a million dollars in 2015 money. While this is a considerable amount to go on with, his patents had come into question which drove him into a deep depression... just as the diesel engine was starting to replace the steam engine. [4] [5] [6]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
In order to comply with "clean diesel" standards, certain German companies have gamed the emission tests. Just like the tests for the best video card, CPU or internet download speed, these car companies have programmed the automobile computers to notice when a test is being run, and then tweak the engine parameters to produce the best emission results. The engine runs terribly for the purpose of actual driving, but for the emission test, it's golden. It's also illegal. We are talking about emissions 40 times the legal limit. As of July 2016, Volkswagen has agreed to a settlement of 14.7 billion dollars for US violations alone. I doubt I'll see a dollar of it. [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]

Limitless Government

Well... here we are. Woodrow Wilson has been elected President of the United States on a platform of expert domestic management. No foreign entanglements are on the horizon, so its all about fixing the USA. Yes, we can. The old Constitution was good enough for the 18th century man (read is morons) but in the 20th century we need something modern. We can trust the voters to get it right, We can build a government based on science and run by experts... socialism-lite, so to speak. The Constitution limits the power of taxation, but with the ratification of the 16th Amendment our limits are gone! The Feds can tax the income of individual citizens mercilessly... oh... I mean fairly. After all, if you are making too much money, you should be sharing that extra income with your fellow citizens, whether you like it or not. The 17th Amendment is also ratified this year. It allows Senators to be elected by the people rather than be beholden to the state legislature or the governor. Now we have a second House of Representatives promising bread a circuses to the masses... oh... I mean looking out for the little guy. (Sure, Wilbur.) Anything else? Yes. The U.S. Federal Reserve System is established. I knew there was a reason to fear God's justice. Next up... Prohibition. [12] [13] [14] [15]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
To be fair, these guys really believe that this is the right course for the future of humanity. The fact that we know these boneheaded bigots have just placed our heads into the jaws of a lion should not blind us to that fact. What worries me today are the measures we are implementing today that we are CERTAIN are correct and that our children's children will curse us for. Without granting forgiveness, we cannot expect forgiveness in return. With that in mind, "May my children forgive me as I have forgiven my father and my father's father. I reserve the right to criticize my father's actions while understanding that every man sets out to do what he think is right... or at least reasonable."

Limitless Banking

Remember that earthquake that flattened San Fransisco? It caused a world-wide financial panic. Why? Well.. a lot of insurance companies had to pay off, and believe it or not, insurance companies do not exist to pay off your claims. They are like banks. They hold your money in reserve, investing it in other businesses while trusting that you won't need it back any time soon. So after the Great Earthquake, there was the Great Payoff with no money left for investment. There was a run on the banks, so the banks issued script, like casino chips, redeemable in limited locations... like... one location... the bank. J.P. Morgan tried to save the financial system. It wasn't enough. This year, President Woodrow Wilson (Democrat) pledges to reform the banking system. Traditionally, Democrats have despised a central bank, but Wilson thinks it can work. They change the name to "The Federal Reserve." (This is like a Socialist switching to the Democrats. Only the label has changed. It works the same when Libertarians become Republicans.) Now they must convince the man of the common people, the one-and-only, William Jennings Bryant. He is an intelligent man, but he admits that he doesn't fully understand this Federal Reserve system. He eventually signs off. On December 23rd, Wilson signs the bill into law. The financial markets are free... free to do good... free to do bad. The possibilities are limitless... either way. [16] [17] [18]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
I hate Woodrow Wilson almost as much as I hate Satan.. close call... yet I cannot assign Wilson the total blame. Republicans were four-square behind the idea. The bankers met at Jekyll Island to plan it all out. Their first objective was to kill off the farmer's banks which were draining the New York banking reserves. Is it any wonder that farmers view bankers as little weasels? I know bankers. They are not little, but there is great potential for their inner-weasels to blossom if they are not careful. Running the Federal Reserve (without it spiraling out of control) takes a lot of self-discipline. The generation of the late 19th and early 20th century had a lot of self-confidence. It's not the same thing. I recommend the book "The Creature From Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve" by Edward Griffin. I caution that the 2nd half of the book gets into conspiracies which, I think, do not hold up. Nevertheless, the author clearly notes where he is speculating, so I'm still recommending it. [19]

Notable Births

  • Richard Nixon (Vice-president and President of the United States. I voted for this guy. Hey! I was young.) [20]
  • Jimmy Hoffa (Union leader who will go missing... very likely "sleepin' wit' da fishes".) [21]
  • Rosa Parks (A black woman who forces a legal case by refusing to give up her seat on the bus to a white man.) [22]
  • And don't forget: Vince Lombardi, Bear Bryant, and Jessie Owens... zoom!!! (Owens' Olympic feats are the subtext in the movie, "The Book Thief") [23] [24] [25]

In Other News

  • Mahatma Gandhi is arrested. The Indian Passive Resistance Movement has begun. [12]
  • H. Geiger introduces the Geiger counter. It detects radiation by counting individual alpha rays. [12]
  • Henry Ford brings the assembly line to factory production. He is not the first, but everyone is scrambling to catch up now. [12]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1913, Wikipedia.

See Also

References

  1. Duesenberg - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 13 November 2014.
  2. Urban Dictionary: duesy. urbandictionary.com (January 6, 2005). Retrieved on 8 December 2016. “duesy adj.slang.USA. The finest of its kind. The word originated from the shortening of Duesenburg which was the American built limousine of the 1920's & 1930's. The Duesenburg was then the finest vehicle of its kind that money could buy.”
  3. Why Net Neutrality is Bad for You. The Blaze Radio Network (November 12, 2014). Retrieved on November 13, 2014. “Summary: 1 hour, 41 minutes into the program (near the end of hour 3), Glenn explains that net neutrality is bad because large corporations will taking advantage of government regulation to destroy their competitors. Glenn uses the example of Dusenberg Motor Company during the depression and mentions where the word 'Dusey' comes from."”
  4. Evening Star. (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, October 14, 1913, Image 13. Chronicling America-Library of Congress (October 14, 1913). Retrieved on 8 December 2016.
  5. Bryant, Lynwood (July 1976). "Development of the Diesel Engine, The". Technology and Culture (The Johns Hopkins University Press and the Society for the History of Technology) 17 (3): 432-446. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3103523. Retrieved 08 December 2016. "The 1912 controversy began when Diesel heard that Adolph Nagel of Dresden was planning a book on the history of the diesel engine. Diesel was naturally nervous about what Nagel would say, for he was a sensitive and proud man, and there had been some troublesome uncertainties and misunderstandings about the invention of his engine and the validity of his patent. So the inventor prepared his own account of the origin of his engine and presented it at a meeting of the German Society of Naval Architects in November 1912. In the discussion period following the paper, two professors launched an attack on Diesel that raised disturbing questions about his professional integrity.". 
  6. Manila Standard - Google News Archive Search (September 22, 1988). Retrieved on 8 December 2016.
  7. Volkswagen in meltdown after faked diesel tests. The Times (September 23, 2015). Retrieved on 15 October 2015. “During testing by the US authorities, the Environmental Protection Agency found that VW had used a 'defeat device', a programme in its diesel cars’ software that identifies whether the vehicle is running on a rolling road in laboratory conditions and ensures the car is running in its cleanest mode, limiting particulate emissions. VW has admitted to the cheat in a market in which it was trying to persuade sceptical consumers that its diesel engines were as clean as petrol alternatives (diesel cars in the US make up less than 3 per cent of sales). The US regulator found that, on the road, VW diesel cars were emitting 40 times the amount of legally allowed levels of nitrogen oxides.”
  8. EPA details how VW software thwarted emission tests. Computerworld (September 24, 2015). Retrieved on 15 October 2015. “Around 2009, the National Low Emission Vehicle program set in place more strict requirements on NOx emissions. To meet the new standards, diesel manufacturers inject a special urea fluid known as AdBlue in the exhaust stream that catalyzes the nitrogen oxide or NOx fumes. While the fluid injection system worked to reduce NOx emissions, it also added weight and cost, and drives up the ownership cost as drivers have to keep refilling the fluid.”
  9. Report: BMW X3 Diesel Also Emits More Than Legal Limit. No Agenda Show (2015). Retrieved on 15 October 2015. “Volkswagen's unfolding diesel emissions crisis may prove to involve other automakers as well: German magazine Autobild reports that ​a German-market, diesel-powered BMW X3 xDrive 20d put out 11 times the legal limit of pollution in a test commissioned by the magazine.”
  10. VW Emissions Cheat Was an 'Open Secret' For Seven Years, Says Volvo Exec. roadandtrack.com (2016). Retrieved on 8 December 2016. “As Falck puts it, competing automakers were perplexed when they couldn't get their diesel offerings to run as cleanly as Volkswagen claimed—despite using the same equipment from the same auto industry suppliers.”
  11. VW Diesel Buyback Update - Volkswagen to Pay $15 Billion for US Diesel Emissions Scandal. roadandtrack.com (2016). Retrieved on 8 December 2016. “After months and months of waiting, owners and lessors of cars implicated in Volkswagen's emissions-cheating scandal are finally inching closer to being financially compensated. Per a July, 26 Reuters report, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer gave preliminary approval for VW's $10 billion plan for buybacks. VW's buyback plan is part of a $14.7 billion settlement with the U.S. government, the details of which appear below.”
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. Simon and Schuster, 466-467. 
  13. Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 8 December 2016. “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.”
  14. Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 8 December 2016. “The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote.”
  15. Alex Shrugged notes: My remarks come from my general reading. "Sure, Wilbur" comes from reading too many Tom Clancy novels. Also "bread and circuses" comes from reading too many Robert A. Heinlein novels.
  16. William Jennings Bryan - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 12 December 2016. “He demanded 'Free Silver' because he believed it undermined the evil 'Money Power' and put more cash in the hands of the common people. He was a peace advocate, a supporter of Prohibition, and an opponent of Darwinism on religious and humanitarian grounds. With his deep, commanding voice and wide travels, he was perhaps the best-known orator and lecturer of the era. Because of his faith in the wisdom of the common people, he was called 'The Great Commoner.'”
  17. Lowenstein, Roger. America's Bank: The Epic Struggle to Create the Federal Reserve. Penguin Press. ISBN 9781594205491. “In 1913, Glass had to overcome the fear that a central bank would become a tool of Wall Street; in the aftermath of the 2008 crisis, when the Fed and the Treasury provided bailouts or credit to the biggest banks, such fears run rampant. And just as opponents of the Fed's establishment protested that it would lead to inflation, the modern Fed's sustained policy of near-zero percent interest rates has prompted critics to warn that a dangerous inflation looms ever nearer. More generally, in an America still nursing its wounds from the financial crisis, both its central bank and its prominent private banks have become objects of vitriol and mistrust. Truly, the battle for the Fed in 1913 foretells our differences today.” 
  18. Rickards, James. Death of Money: The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System, The. Portfolio/Penguin. ISBN 9781591846703. “The Federal Reserve's status as a central bank has long been obvious, but in its origins, from 1909 to 1913, following the Panic of 1907, supporters went to great lengths to disguise the fact that the proposed institution was a central bank. The most conspicuous part of this exercise is the name itself, the Federal Reserve. It is not called the Bank of the United States of America, as the Bank of England and the Bank of Japan proclaim themselves. Nor does the name contain the key phrase 'central bank' in the style of the European Central Bank.” 
  19. Griffin, G. Edward. Creature From Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve, The. American Media (CA). ISBN 9780912986326. 
  20. Richard Nixon - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 8 December 2016. “Richard Milhous Nixon (January 9, 1913 – April 22, 1994) was an American politician who served as the 37th President of the United States from 1969 until 1974, when he became the only U.S. president to resign from office. He had previously served as a U.S. Representative and Senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under the Presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower.”
  21. Jimmy Hoffa - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 8 December 2016. “Hoffa became involved with organized crime from the early years of his Teamsters work, and this connection continued until his disappearance in 1975. He was convicted of jury tampering, attempted bribery, and fraud in 1964, in two separate trials. He was imprisoned in 1967 and sentenced to 13 years, after exhausting the appeal process. In mid-1971 he resigned as president of the union, an action that was part of a pardon agreement with President Richard Nixon, to facilitate his release later that year. Nixon blocked Hoffa from union activities until 1980 (which would have been the end of his prison term, had he served the full sentence). Hoffa, hoping to regain support and to return to IBT leadership, unsuccessfully attempted to overturn this order. Hoffa vanished in late July 1975, having last been seen outside the Machus Red Fox, a suburban Detroit restaurant. He was declared legally dead in 1982. His disappearance gave rise to many theories as to what happened to him.”
  22. Rosa Parks - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 8 December 2016. “Parks' act of defiance and the Montgomery Bus Boycott became important symbols of the modern Civil Rights Movement. She became an international icon of resistance to racial segregation. She organized and collaborated with civil rights leaders, including Edgar Nixon, president of the local chapter of the NAACP; and Martin Luther King, Jr., a new minister in town who gained national prominence in the civil rights movement.”
  23. Vince Lombardi - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 8 December 2016. “Vincent Thomas 'Vince' Lombardi (June 11, 1913 – September 3, 1970)[1] was an American football player, coach, and executive in the National Football League (NFL). He is best known as the head coach of the Green Bay Packers during the 1960s, where he led the team to three straight and five total NFL Championships in seven years, in addition to winning the first two Super Bowls following the 1966 and 1967 NFL seasons.”
  24. Bear Bryant - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 8 December 2016. “Paul William 'Bear' Bryant (September 11, 1913 – January 26, 1983) was an American college football player and coach. He was best known as the longtime head coach of the University of Alabama football team. During his 25-year tenure as Alabama's head coach, he amassed six national championships and thirteen conference championships. Upon his retirement in 1982, he held the record for most wins as head coach in collegiate football history with 323 wins.”
  25. Jesse Owens - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 8 December 2016. “At the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany, Owens won international fame with four gold medals: 100 meters, 200 meters, long jump, and 4 × 100 meter relay. He was the most successful athlete at the games and, as a Black man, was credited with 'single-handedly crushing Hitler's myth of Aryan supremacy', although he 'wasn't invited to the White House to shake hands with the President, either.'”

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