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A Roosevelt Utopia

People are struggling to survive through this Great Depression. Coal miners of West Virginia have been pooling their resources and working farms to feed their families. This is a great idea, but private people cannot be successful without government support. (I think it is a rule or something.) When First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt hears of this community effort she turns it into her pet project to build a government Utopia in West Virginia. Thus Arthurdale is first conceived. Several hundred homes are built and families interviewed to join the community. Singles and immigrants need not apply and while we are at it... no blacks or Jews either. Finally, no private sector employment is allowed except as it relates to producing products for government consumption. It is the perfect little world... except that the Republicans are calling it a commie stronghold. (Those Republicans spoil everything!) Government funding dries up despite the First Lady's pleas to Congress. The community should have been self-sustaining without continuing government help, but the residents seem unable to grow enough food. Businesses attempt to establish themselves in Arthurdale, but they don't stay long. Within a few years it is clear that these "New Deal" communities have failed. [1] [2]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Eleanor Roosevelt was not the only one who believed that government was required to make an ideal society work. IT'S SCIENCE! Similar experiments were attempted all around the world, but I have only seen it work in Israel. The key is to keep the number of adult participants low... from 200 to 400 and the participants nationwide under 3%. Any more than that and you get too many loafers scamming the system. Socialism remains popular because people think that it should work if everyone participates, but the socialist model barely works for monasteries. Experience has proven that it does not scale up. There is no economy of size because there is no reason to produce more than you must, just to get by. Despite what anyone says, socialism is a "one-is-enough" philosophy rather than the more sensible "two-is-one and one-is-none". [3] [4]

The Nazis Are On Fire!

Germany needs a firm hand, so Adolf Hitler is appointed Chancellor, and just in time. Weeks later a Dutch communist sets fire to the parliament building (in German: Reichstag). Obviously the communists are out of control! (Well... yes. They are out of control, but this seems too convenient for the Nazis.) Hitler is granted sweeping powers, thus nullifying civil rights and lifting the restrictions on police action. An American physician practicing in Berlin is rumored to be an enemy of the state. His house is searched and he is taken away. They strip him and beat him until his flesh is raw and bleeding. He finally comes to the US Embassy for help. Subordinates have been sending warnings to the State Department about the growing violence, but where is the Ambassador? FDR cannot find anyone to take the position. He finally settles on William Dodd, a college professor and Woodrow Wilson fanboy. This is odd because ambassadors are usually rich people who are expected to foot the bill for state dinners, fancy dishes and a limousine. But Dodd is a professor! Not a playboy. Yet, what choice does FDR have? The German people will soon realize that Hitler is a kook. No need to panic, eh? Dodd can cover it for now, but actually no. He can't. This is a fatal error. [5] [6] [7]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Apparently no one at the State Department was reading the reports their embassy was sending them. What made Dodd influential in Germany was not his personal charm. It was his daughter. Martha was a young divorcee, looking for love and found it in the Nazi leadership. The red flags flying and cool uniforms made it seem that she could do anything, and she did do just about anything she wanted. She became the mistress of the chief of the Gestapo. Rudolf Diels was his name. At the time the Gestapo was running concentration camps for political prisoners. Martha also took up with a KGB agent. Even Hitler made a pass at her. She was smack dab in the middle of it all. And she kept a detailed diary of her adventures which is how we know of her today. I don't particularly like Martha, but she was not unusual. The comments I make regarding what the young people thought at the time, come through her. A suggest reading, "In the Garden of Beasts" by Erik Larson. Remember that people of the time didn't know what came next. They hoped that it would all come out OK. You know. Like it always has in the past. This was normalcy bias on steroids. [8]

Notable Births

  • Louis Farrakhan (Living): Controversial leader of the Nation of Islam. [9]
  • Gene Kranz (Living): NASA Flight Director who NEVER said, "Failure is not an option," but embraced it after the movie "Apollo 13" came out. [10]
  • Ann Richards: Governor of Texas and a major force in the Democrat Party. [11]
  • Dianne Feinstein (Living): US Senator from Calif. and former mayor of San Francisco. [12]
  • And in Entertainment...
  • -- Willie Nelson (Living): Entertainer best known for "On the Road Again", "To All the Girls I've Loved Before", and for smoking weed. [13]
  • -- Gene Wilder: Best known for "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory", "Young Frankenstein", and "Blazing Saddles". [14]
  • -- Caroll Spinney (Living): He plays Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street. [15]
  • -- Joan Rivers: Standup comedian, talk show host and reality TV star. She did it all. [16]
  • -- Michael Caine (Living): I loved him in Miss Congeniality. He favored communism until he served in the Korean War and saw how the communists treated their citizens. [17]

**Note: (Living) means they were alive when I checked.

In Other News

  • Prohibition is REPEALED, and Inauguration Day is changed to January 20th. [18] [19]
  • King Kong is released!. Faye Wray is the first in a long line of ladies to scream their way to fame. [20]
  • FM radio is patented. Norway will shutdown FM radio in 2017 in favor of digital audio. (It is easier to track you that way.) [21] [22]
  • A United Airlines flight blows up. A bomb goes off in the toilet causing the tail section to separate. The bomber was never identified. [23]
  • The life expectancy of a Ukrainian is now 7.3 years. The Holodomor is a man-made famine created by Stalin that kills off millions of Ukrainians. There are no exact numbers. Say 10 million. Welcome to socialism. [24]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1933, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. Arthurdale, West Virginia - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 6 November 2016. “Arthurdale was the first of many New Deal planned communities established under Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration. It was intended to take impoverished laborers, farmers, and coal miners and move them to a modern rural community that would allow them to become economically self-sufficient. The idea for such a self-sufficient community originated when Eleanor Roosevelt learned through her friend, Lorena Hickok, of a plan to relocate a group of West Virginia coal miners to a nearby farm with the intention that they could combine subsistence farming with simple industries to reclaim their economic footing. Mrs. Roosevelt was so passionate about the concept that she brought it to the attention of her husband, who decided to place the project under the direction of the United States Department of the Interior.”
  2. Alex Shrugged Notes: I picked up on this topic from the first hour of the Glenn Beck Radio Show, November 4, 2016.
  3. What is Kibbutz? - Kibbutz Program Center. kibbutzprogramcenter.org (2017). Retrieved on 18 January 2017. “Over the years the kibbutzim have multiplied, prospered, and adapted themselves to changing realities. Today some 270 kibbutzim, varying in size from 80 to over 2,000 people, are scattered throughout Israel. With a total populace of around 120,000 they represent about 2.8 percent of Israel’s population.”
  4. History & Overview of the Kibbutz Movement - Jewish Virtual Library. jewishvirtuallibrary.org (2017). Retrieved on 18 January 2017. “The occasional lack of personnel for factories, agricultural tasks, tourism services and other jobs necessitates hiring paid workers, although this practice is contrary to the kibbutz principle of self-reliance in labor. Many kibbutzim host young volunteers from Israel and abroad for periods of one month or longer in exchange for work, thus partially solving the dilemma of obtaining outside labor.”
  5. Reichstag Fire Decree - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 18 January 2017. “On the basis of Article 48 paragraph 2 of the Constitution of the German Reich, the following is ordered in defense against Communist state-endangering acts of violence:”
  6. Marinus van der Lubbe - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 18 January 2017. “Historians disagree as to whether Van der Lubbe acted alone, as he said, to protest the condition of the German working class. The Nazis blamed a communist conspiracy. The responsibility for the Reichstag fire remains an ongoing topic of debate and research.”
  7. Reichstag fire - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 18 January 2017. “Adolf Hitler, who had been sworn in as Chancellor of Germany on 30 January, urged President Paul von Hindenburg to pass an emergency decree to suspend civil liberties in order to counter the ruthless confrontation of the Communist Party of Germany.[2] After passing the decree, the government instituted mass arrests of communists, including all of the Communist Party parliamentary delegates. With their bitter rival communists gone and their seats empty, the Nazi Party went from being a plurality party to the majority, thus enabling Hitler to consolidate his power.”
  8. Larson, Erik. In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin. Crown. ISBN 9780307408846. “Herein lay a conflict: Congress was required to confirm and fund new ambassadors. The sooner Congress adjourned, the greater the pressure on Roosevelt to choose a new man for Berlin. Thus, he now found himself compelled to consider candidates outside the bounds of the usual patronage choices, including the presidents of at least three colleges and an ardent pacifist named Harry Emerson Fosdick, the Baptist pastor of Riverside Church in Manhattan. None of these seemed ideal, however; none was offered the job.” 
  9. Louis Farrakhan - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 18 January 2017. “Farrakhan is a black religious and social leader. Farrakhan has been both praised and widely criticized for his often controversial political views and outspoken rhetorical style. He has been criticized for remarks that have been perceived as antisemitic, anti-white and homophobic.[2] In October 1995, he organized and led the Million Man March in Washington, D.C., calling on black men to renew their commitments to their families and communities. Farrakhan, due to health issues, reduced his responsibilities with the NOI in 2007.”
  10. Gene Kranz - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 18 January 2017. “Kranz has become associated with the phrase 'failure is not an option'. It was uttered by actor Ed Harris, playing Kranz, in the 1995 film Apollo 13. Kranz then used it as the title of his 2000 autobiography. Later it became the title of a 2004 television documentary about NASA, as well as of that documentary's sequel, Beyond the Moon: Failure Is Not an Option 2. Since then, it has entered general parlance as a motivational phrase. Kranz travels all over the world giving a motivational lecture titled 'Failure Is Not an Option', including the historic Apollo 13 flight control room.”
  11. Ann Richards - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 18 January 2017. “A Democrat, she first came to national attention as the state treasurer of Texas, when she delivered the keynote address at the 1988 Democratic National Convention. Richards served as the 45th Governor of Texas from 1991 to 1995 and was defeated for re-election in 1994 by George W. Bush.[1] Richards was the second female governor of Texas, and was frequently noted in the media for her outspoken feminism and her one-liners.[2]”
  12. Dianne Feinstein - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 18 January 2017. “the senior United States Senator from California. A member of the Democratic Party, she has served in the Senate since 1992. She also served as the 38th Mayor of San Francisco from 1978 to 1988.”
  13. Willie Nelson - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 18 January 2017. “After his arrest for possession of marijuana in 2010, Nelson created the TeaPot party under the motto 'Tax it, regulate it and legalize it!'.”
  14. Gene Wilder - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 18 January 2017. “Wilder is known for his portrayal of Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) and for his four films with Richard Pryor: Silver Streak (1976), Stir Crazy (1980), See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989), and Another You (1991). Wilder directed and wrote several of his own films, including The Woman in Red (1984).”
  15. Caroll Spinney - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 18 January 2017. “Caroll Edwin Spinney (born December 26, 1933) is an American puppeteer, cartoonist, author, and speaker most famous for playing Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street since 1969. He has sometimes been credited as Carroll Spinney or Ed Spinney.”
  16. Joan Rivers - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 18 January 2017. “an American comedian, actress, writer, producer, and television host noted for her often controversial comedic persona — alternatingly self-deprecating or sharply acerbic, especially toward celebrities and politicians.”
  17. Michael Caine - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 18 January 2017. “From 28 April 1952, when he was called up to do his national service until 1954, he served in the British Army's Royal Fusiliers, first at the BAOR HQ in Iserlohn, Germany, and then on active service during the Korean War. He had gone into Korea feeling sympathetic to communism, coming as he did from a poor family, but the experience left him permanently repelled.[17] He experienced a situation where he knew he was going to die, the memory of which stayed with him and formed his character; he later said, 'The rest of my life I have lived every bloody moment from the moment I wake up until the time I go to sleep.'[18] Caine would like to see the return of national service to help combat youth violence, stating: 'I'm just saying, put them in the Army for six months. You're there to learn how to defend your country. You belong to the country. Then when you come out, you have a sense of belonging rather than a sense of violence'.”
  18. Twentieth Amendment to the United States Constitution - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 18 January 2017. “The Twentieth Amendment (Amendment XX) to the United States Constitution moved the beginning and ending of the terms of the president and vice president from March 4 to January 20, and of members of Congress from March 4 to January 3.”
  19. Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 18 January 2017. “The Twenty-first Amendment (Amendment XXI) to the United States Constitution repealed the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which had mandated nationwide Prohibition on alcohol on January 16, 1919. The Twenty-first Amendment was ratified on December 5, 1933. It is unique among the 27 amendments of the U.S. Constitution for being the only one to repeal a prior amendment and to have been ratified by state ratifying conventions.”
  20. King Kong (1933 film) - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 18 January 2017. “It stars Fay Wray, Bruce Cabot and Robert Armstrong, and opened in New York City on March 2, 1933, to rave reviews. It has been ranked by Rotten Tomatoes as the greatest horror film of all time[5] and the twentieth greatest film of all time.”
  21. In 2017, Norway will be first country to shut down FM radio - The Verge (2017). Retrieved on 18 January 2017. “Norway will shut down FM radio in the country beginning in 2017, Radio.no reports. The Norwegian Ministry of Culture finalized a shift date this week, making it the first country to do away with FM radio entirely. The country plans to transition to Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) as a national standard.”
  22. Frequency modulation - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 18 January 2017. “In telecommunications and signal processing, frequency modulation (FM) is the encoding of information in a carrier wave by varying the instantaneous frequency of the wave. This contrasts with amplitude modulation, in which the amplitude of the carrier wave varies, while the frequency remains constant.”
  23. 1933 United Airlines Boeing 247 mid-air explosion - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 18 January 2017. “Investigators who combed through the debris were confronted with unusual evidence: the toilet and baggage compartment had been smashed into fragments. Shards of metal riddled the inside of the toilet door while the other side of the door was free of the metal fragments. The tail section had been severed just aft of the toilet and was found mostly intact almost a mile away from the main wreckage.”
  24. Holodomor - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 18 January 2017. “Some scholars believe that the famine was planned by Joseph Stalin to eliminate a Ukrainian independence movement. Using Holodomor in reference to the famine emphasizes its man-made aspects, arguing that actions such as rejection of outside aid, confiscation of all household foodstuffs, and restriction of population movement confer intent, defining the famine as genocide; the loss of life has been compared to the Holocaust. If Soviet policies and actions were conclusively documented as intending to eradicate the rise of Ukrainian nationalism, they would fall under the legal definition of genocide.”

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