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Black Herman and the Dread Pirate Roberts

Prince Herman is dead. His 17-year-old assistant, Benjamin Rucker, must carry on, bringing their popular medicine and magic show to the rural South. Benjamin changes his name to "Black Herman" in honor of his mentor, and to inform the public that he is actually black. (One might have noticed once he showed up, but there it is.) His fame will grow and he will become one of the greatest Black magicians of his time. Frankly, he will be good enough for the Las Vegas illusionist Penn Jillette to mention him on TV over 100 years later... which is how "Black Herman" gets honorable mention here. His "buried alive" illusion becomes so familiar to his audience that when he dies on stage, no one will believe it. In fact, his assistant will sell tickets for his funeral. Is there more? You betcha. [1] [2] [3] [4]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
In the movie, "The Princess Bride", the Dread Pirate Roberts rescues the Princess from a plot to kill her. In fact, Roberts has a long reputation as a pirate. I am now going to give away Robert's secret, but if you don't already know it, you don't deserve a spoiler alert. "Dread Pirate Roberts" is just a name and a reputation passed from one man to another in a long line of Dread Pirate Roberts. Why? Because no one would surrender their ship to the Dread Pirate Wesley. (In the business world this is called an "intangible asset". People will buy a brand name long after the original company has been bought out.) This brings us back to "Black Herman". He continued to perform his magic across the South for years and years. In fact, his magic show continued well past his funeral. He rose from the dead again, and again, and again. Was it him? No one knows, but business is business.

Taking 'Social Responsibility' for a New America

It takes more than a Progressive educational system to turn a self-reliant nation into a sniveling welfare state. To really mess things up you need new laws that will push the public into the light. Herbert Croly publishes the book "The Promise of American Life." He sees America as generally good, but it has lost it's way. Its blundering has caused a lot of damage, and his book is a plea for Americans to take responsibility... social responsibility. (Yes. He uses that exact phrase.) Some sacrifices are required if the Promise of America (what we would call the American Dream) can be fulfilled. The Dream should not remain a lofty goal without a purpose. Americans should not be like the Europeans who, "...encourage an easy, generous, and irresponsible optimism." And so it goes. His writing style is typical of the time... tedious. We might safely ignore this book except that a particularly influential fellow reads the book and loves it... Theodore Roosevelt, Republican. The Progressive Era has begun. [5] [6]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Remember. We can see into the past. We know what is coming. They cannot. Herbert Croly was the founder of The New Republic which supported Stalin. However, the real crime is what Stalin's supporters did after he was revealed as a mass-murderer. Mostly, the gutless... uh... supporters... went silent. A few brave souls owned up, and pushed hard the other way. Communist David Horowitz turned conservative after a stint with the Black Panthers. Irving Krystol became the father of neo-conservatism (and Bill Kristol). And there were a few others who realized that progressivism is a fraud and abandoned the Democrats. In the presidential campaign against candidate Obama, Hillary Clinton declared herself to be a Progressive of the 1920s. The early Progressives did not realize how unforgiving and violent true socialism would turn out to be, but Hillary knew. Yet she claimed kinship with that movement. She scares the stuffing out of me. Whatever Mr. Trump may be, I think we dodged a bullet. [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]

Notable Births

  • Barry Goldwater. (Presidential candidate and author of "The Conscience of a Conservative.") [12]
  • Saul Alinsky. (Community organizer and author of "Rules for Radicals".) [13]
  • Leo Fender (Grab your Stratocasters. It's the founder of Fender Guitars!) [14]
  • Ann Southern. (Actress best known to me as the voice of the Tin Lizzie in "My Mother the Car".) [15]

In Other News

  • 20,000 to 30,000 Armenians are murdered. This is not the Armenian genocide, but it's coming. [16]
  • Robert Peary reaches the North Pole! Maybe. Authorities will go back and forth on this into the modern day. [17]
  • London hairdressers offer the permanent wave. The movie "Legally Blonde" will explore the chemical reactions required to hold hair in a permanent wave. Nuclear physics is easier to comprehend. [18] [19]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1909, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. Black Herman - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 7 January 2015.
  2. Black Herman the Undead. vladkraven.com (March 15, 2011). Retrieved on 7 January 2015.
  3. The Princess Bride (film) - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 7 January 2015.
  4. Penn Jillete speaks of the character of Black Herman being carried on by several performers through the South for 130 years. Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld. July 29, 2014. 5 minutes 14 seconds into the show.
  5. The Promise of American Life - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 11 April 2016. “The book is said to 'offer a manifesto of Progressive beliefs' that 'anticipated the transition from competitive to corporate capitalism and from limited government to the welfare state.'”
  6. Promise of American Life, The. Gutenberg.org (1909). Retrieved on 11 April 2016.
  7. The New Republic - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 2 December 2016. “The New Republic was founded by Herbert Croly, Walter Lippmann, and Walter Weyl through the financial backing of heiress Dorothy Payne Whitney and her husband, Willard Straight, who maintained majority ownership. The magazine's first issue was published on November 7, 1914.”
  8. Norman Podhoretz - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 2 December 2016. “Podhoretz served as Commentary magazine's Editor-in-Chief from 1960 (when he replaced Elliot E. Cohen) until his retirement in 1995. Podhoretz remains Commentary's Editor-at-Large. In 1963, he wrote the essay 'My Negro Problem – And Ours', in which he described the oppression he felt from African-Americans as a child, and concluded by calling for a color-blind society, and advocated 'the wholesale merging of the two races [as] the most desirable alternative for everyone concerned.'”
  9. Irving Kristol - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 2 December 2016. “In 1973, Michael Harrington coined the term 'neo-conservatism' to describe those liberal intellectuals and political philosophers who were disaffected with the political and cultural attitudes dominating the Democratic Party and were moving toward a new form of conservatism. Intended by Harrington as a pejorative term, it was accepted by Kristol as an apt description of the ideas and policies exemplified by The Public Interest. Unlike liberals, for example, neo-conservatives rejected most of the Great Society programs sponsored by Lyndon Johnson; and unlike traditional conservatives, they supported the more limited welfare state instituted by Franklin Delano Roosevelt.”
  10. David Horowitz - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 2 December 2016. “Horowitz was raised by parents who were members of the Communist Party USA during the Great Depression; they gave up their membership in 1956 after learning of Joseph Stalin's purges and abuses. From 1956–75, Horowitz was an outspoken adherent of the New Left. He later rejected leftism completely and has since become a leading proponent of conservatism. Horowitz has recounted his ideological journey in a series of retrospective books, culminating with his 1996 memoir Radical Son: A Generational Odyssey.”
  11. Alex Shrugged notes: The parents of David Horowitz rejected Stalin after his atrocities were revealed. David Horowitz joined the Black Panthers, but when they turned violent too, he left and became a conservative. His autobiography "Radical Son" is worth reading.
  12. The Conscience of a Conservative - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 2 December 2016. “The Conscience of a Conservative is a 1960 book published under the name of Arizona Senator and 1964 Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater. It reignited the American conservative movement, made Goldwater a political star, and has influenced countless conservatives in the United States, helping to lay the foundation for the Reagan Revolution of the 1980s.”
  13. Saul Alinsky - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 2 December 2016. “Saul David Alinsky (January 30, 1909 – June 12, 1972) was an American community organizer and writer. He is generally considered to be the founder of modern community organizing. He is often noted for his 1971 book Rules for Radicals.”
  14. Fender Stratocaster - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 2 December 2016. “The Fender Stratocaster is a model of electric guitar designed in 1954 by Leo Fender, Bill Carson, George Fullerton, and Freddie Tavares. The Fender Musical Instruments Corporation has continuously manufactured the Stratocaster from 1954 to the present. It is a double-cutaway guitar, with an extended top 'horn' shape for balance. Along with the Gibson Les Paul, it is one of the most often emulated electric guitar shapes. 'Stratocaster' and 'Strat' are trademark terms belonging to Fender.”
  15. Ann Sothern - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 2 December 2016. “In 1965, Sothern co-starred in the TV comedy series My Mother the Car, opposite Jerry Van Dyke. The show was typical of then-popular situation comedies featuring a flying nun, a talking horse, a domestic witch, or other surreal premises. Van Dyke played a struggling lawyer and family man who discovers a dilapidated, vintage-1928 automobile in a used-car lot. The antique auto speaks to him—in Ann Sothern's voice. It seems the car is the reincarnation of Van Dyke's mother! Van Dyke restores the car to its original condition and takes it home, where it bemuses his family and becomes the envy of a zealous collector. Sothern was never seen in the series; only her voice was heard, reacting tartly to zany happenings around her.”
  16. Adana massacre - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 2 December 2016. “The Adana massacre (Armenian: Ադանայի կոտորած, Turkish: Adana İğtişaşı) occurred in the Adana Vilayet of the Ottoman Empire in April 1909. A massacre of Armenian Christians by Turkish Muslims in the city of Adana amidst the Ottoman countercoup of 1909 expanded to a series of anti-Armenian pogroms throughout the province.[2] Reports estimated that the Adana Province massacres resulted in the deaths of as many as 20,000–30,000 Armenians.[3][4] It was reported about 1,300 Assyrians were also killed during the massacres.”
  17. Robert Peary - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 2 December 2016. “Robert Edwin Peary, Sr. (May 6, 1856 – February 20, 1920) was an American explorer who claimed to have reached the geographic North Pole with his expedition on April 6, 1909. Peary's claim was widely credited for most of the 20th century, rather than the competing claim by Frederick Cook, who said he got there a year earlier. Both claims were widely debated in newspapers until 1913.”
  18. Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. Simon and Schuster, 462-463. 
  19. Legally Blonde (2001) - IMDb (2016). Retrieved on 2 December 2016. “When a blonde sorority queen is dumped by her boyfriend, she decides to follow him to law school to get him back and, once there, learns she has more legal savvy than she ever imagined.”

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