BIDENOMICS

Welcome to the twisted world of “Bidenomincs.” Welcome to a world where left is right and right is left. Welcome to a world where up is down and down is up. Welcome to a world where you can spend trillions of dollars, and it won’t cost you a cent, not a red cent. Welcome to a world where our esteemed president shuts down a perfectly viable pipeline which is supplying us with copious amounts of oil and gas, which has made us energy independent for the first time in some 75 years, creates a critical shortage of same, and then turns arounds and endorses Russia’s plan to build a pipeline to provide oil to our European allies thus enriching our enemy and permitting it to control the energy supply of our European allies. Why is Russia’s pipeline different that ours? Can’t answer that one. You’ll have to ask “Sleepy Joe,” if he ever were to answer questions, that is. Wait, there’s more. He then goes to the oil barons of the Middle East begging them to please, please, pretty please produce more oil so that he can solve the shortage he created.

He spends money like a drunken sailor, money we don’t have. The Fed keeps printing money to pay for his folly. His actions have caused severe shortages. Every night on the news we are treated to the sight of hundreds of cargo ships standing offshore waiting to be unloaded. I didn’t go to “Hahvad,” but I know basic economics, the law of supply and demand. I know these actions will cause inflation. Lots of it. Remember the 1970s? Runaway inflation, high interest rates, gas lines. Don’t be surprised if we see that again.

And now for the “coup de grace,” the cherry on top. According to Fox News, deeply embedded in the Build Back Better multi-trillion dollar Dem spending package pending before Congress is a proposal to provide illegal aliens who were separated from their families at the border with a reparations payment of up to $450,000. So, let me get this straight. You enter the country illegally, and your “punishment” is a payment of $450,000. And who will be paying for all this? Take one guess. This is part of the aid package that Biden insists won’t cost “one red cent.” I don’t know about you, but I’m considering flying to Mexico City, embedding myself into the next migrant caravan, crossing the border illegally without my family, and then applying for that windfall.

Some of my critics have accused me of bias, exaggeration, and twisting the facts. Maybe, at times, I have been overzealous in my opinions. But, this is still America. I am still entitled to my opinion. In this case, however, the only proof I need is right in front of you, in the grocery store, at the gas pump, in your shrinking paycheck. Just wait until the really cold weather comes, and your heating bill jumps some $100 per month over last year’s total. Moreover, try explaining to your children why their Christmas gifts did not arrive on time.

CONCLUSION

The “fun” has just begun. The far left wing idealogues that are controlling the Biden Administration are in a race with the calendar. They will be trying to create as much havoc and destruction as they can before the 2022 elections. They will blame Donald Trump. If you question them, they will call you a “racist.”

This mess is not Trump’s fault. It is the fault of those voters who weren’t paying close attention, who were blinded by their irrational hatred of Donald Trump, who drank the “Kool-Aid,” who believed the fantasy that Biden was still in full possession of his faculties, and who believed he would govern as a “moderate.” Ultimately, you “get the government you deserve.” I don’t want to offend anyone, but the honest truth is if you want to know whose fault this disastrous presidency is, look in the mirror.

ABBOTT AND COSTELLO AND THE COVID VACCINE CONTROVERSY

From time to time I get special requests from readers to write a blog on a particular topic. I always try to honor such requests. The following is a request from my friend and loyal reader, Kevin.

As you all know, at the present time one of the most contentious issues in America revolves around the COVID vaccines and the relationship between the vaccinated and the non-vaccinated. President Biden’s mandate has added fuel to the fire. Each group feels it has valid reasons for its position and has dug in its heels. Although I am fully vaccinated I have not taken sides, and I will not at this time.

Suffice to say, in my opinion, there are legitimate questions with respect to the subject. For example, should they be mandatory for everyone? To what extent do they help? Should people who refuse be fired from their jobs? Should those who have antibodies either naturally or from having survived a bout with the virus be exempt? Are there legitimate religious or medical reasons to refuse? The purpose of this blog is not to takes sides. My objective is to try to inject a little humor into a tense and contentious situation. So, below please find how the late comedy duo, Abbott and Costello might have handled this situation. Read and enjoy.

ABBOTT AND COSTELLO’S “WHO’S BEEN VACCINATED?” 

Bud: ‘You can’t come in here!’

Lou: ‘Why not?’

Bud: ‘Well because you’re unvaccinated.’ 

Lou: ‘But I’m not sick.’

Bud: ‘It doesn’t matter.’

Lou: ‘Well, why does that guy get to go in?’

Bud: ‘Because he’s vaccinated.’

Lou: ‘But he’s sick!’

Bud: ‘It’s alright. Everyone in here is vaccinated.’

Lou: ‘Wait a minute. Are you saying everyone in there is vaccinated?’

Bud: ‘Yes.’

Lou: ‘So then why can’t I go in there if everyone is vaccinated?’

Bud: ‘Because you’ll make them sick.’

Lou: ‘How will I make them sick if I’m NOT sick and they’re vaccinated?’ 

Bud: ‘Because you’re unvaccinated.’ 

Lou: ‘But they’re vaccinated.’

Bud: ‘But they can still get sick.’ 

Lou: ‘So what the heck does the vaccine do?’

Bud: ‘It vaccinates.’ 

Lou: ‘So vaccinated people can’t spread COVID?’

Bud: ‘Oh no. They can spread COVID just as easily as an unvaccinated person.’

Lou: ‘I don’t even know what I’m saying anymore. Look. I’m not sick. 

Bud: ‘Ok.’

Lou: ‘And the guy you let in IS

Bud: ‘That’s right.’

Lou: ‘And everybody in there can still get sick even though they’re vaccinated.’

Bud: ‘Certainly.’

Lou: ‘So why can’t I go in again?’

Bud: ‘Because you’re unvaccinated.’

Lou: ‘I’m not asking who’s vaccinated or not!’

Bud: ‘I’m just telling you how it is.’

Lou: ‘Never mind. I’ll just put on my mask.’

Bud: ‘That’s fine.’

Lou: ‘Now I can go in?’

Bud: ‘Absolutely not?’

Lou: ‘But I have a mask!’

Bud: ‘Doesn’t matter.’

Lou: ‘I was able to come in here yesterday with a mask.’

Bud: ‘I know.’ 

Lou: So why can’t I come in here today with a mask? ….If you say ‘because I’m unvaccinated’ again, I’ll break your arm.’

Bud: ‘Take it easy buddy.’

Lou: ‘So the mask is no good anymore.’

Bud: ‘No, it’s still good.’

Lou: ‘But I can’t come in?’

Bud: ‘Correct.’

Lou: ‘Why not?’

Bud: ‘Because you’re unvaccinated.’ 

Lou: ‘But the mask prevents the germs from getting out.’

Bud: ‘Yes, but people can still catch your germs.’

Lou: ‘But they’re all vaccinated.’

Bud: ‘Yes, but they can still get sick.’

Lou: ‘But I’m not sick!!’

Bud: ‘You can still get them sick.’

Lou: ‘So then masks don’t work!’

Bud: ‘Masks work quite well.’

Lou: ‘So how in the heck can I get vaccinated people sick if I’m not sick and masks work?’

Bud: ‘Third base.’

CONCLUSION

For the uninitiated, Abbott and Costello were one of the most famous and successful comedy duos in the 1940s and 1950s. They joined forces in 1935 by accident when Costello’s partner was unable to perform due to illness and Abbott had to step in. They were an immediate success. Abbott was the “straight man,” and Costello was the “fall guy.” Their career spanned vaudeville, radio, television and the movies. At their peak in the 1940s they were the highest paid entertainers in the world. They are best known for the comedy routine “Who’s on First,” which, to me, is one of the most famous and funniest routines ever. If you’re not familiar with it you can find it on U-Tube or at the Baseball Hall of Fame where it is played on a continuous loop.

Their “run” came to an abrupt end when Costello died of a heart attack in 1957 at the age of 57. Abbott died in 1974 of cancer. Perhaps, the “PC” crowd would not appreciate their brand of humor, but to their many fans it will live forever.

HALLOWEEN

On Sunday, October 31, many of us will celebrate Halloween. We will dress up in costumes and attend parties. Children will go door-to-door “trick or treating.” Of course, some will use the holiday as an excuse to create mischief or even mayhem, but for most of us it will be a day of fun and games and an opportunity to gorge ourselves on candy. But, few, if any, of us will bother to stop and think about the origins of the holiday. When and where did it begin? How did it evolve? Why do we dress up in costumes? Why do we go “trick or treating?” Glad you asked. Read on.

The origin of Halloween is a Celtic holiday dedicated to the dead. Although the Celts were interspersed in many areas of Europe, they were concentrated in what is now, England, Ireland and Scotland. The Celts divided the year into four sections, each of which was marked by a major holiday. The beginning of the winter season was November 1, which was celebrated by a festival called “Samhein,” pronounced “Sah-ween,” which means “end of summer” in old Irish. The word “Halloween” can be traced back as far as 1745. It means “hallowed evening” or “holy evening.” It is derived from a Scottish term for “All Hallows Eve,” the evening before “All Hallows Day,” aka “All Saints Day.” Over time, the word “evening” was contracted to “e’en,” thus Halloween.

The Celts were a pagan people and very superstitious. They believed that the ghosts of those who had died during the year had not yet completed their journey to the “otherworld,” and at Samhein they were able to mingle with the living. Accordingly, to placate these ghosts and other spirits the Celts offered sacrifices and lit bonfires to aid them on their journey. It has been suggested that the origin of wearing costumes was to disguise oneself from any lost soul that might be seeking vengeance on the living before moving on the next world. Some, believing that the souls of those who had died recently were still wandering in a sort of purgatory, set a place for them at dinner. Many of these ancient traditions have persisted to this day in some locales.

In 601 Pope Gregory I issued an edict, the gist of which was that missionaries were to combine Christian holidays and festivals with existing pagan holidays and festivals and, hopefully, eventually supersede them. The ultimate objective was to foster the conversion of pagans to Christianity. As a result, All Saints Day, aka All Hallows Day, was moved to November 1 to coincide with Samhein.

By the end of the 12th century other Halloween traditions had developed. For example, the clergy would ring church bells for the souls stuck in purgatory; and “criers,” dressed in black, would parade through towns reminding the citizens to remember these poor souls. In about the 15th century people began to bake “soul cakes,” which are small round cakes, a practice called “souling,” which is believed to be a forerunner of “trick or treating.” Poor people would go door-to-door and collect these cakes in exchange for saying prayers for the dead. Interestingly, Shakespeare mentioned “souling” in “The Two Gentlemen of Varona” in 1593. Over time, celebrations of All Hallows Day began to include additional customs, such as “trick or treating,” lighting bonfires, attending costume parties, carving “jack-o’-lanterns, apple “bobbing,” and attending church services.

As mentioned above, it is believed that the practice of “trick-or-treating” was derived from “souling” or “mumming,” which is going house-to-house in disguise singing songs in exchange for food. This was believed to have originated in Scotland and Wales in the 16th century. Sometimes people would paint their faces and threaten mischief if they were not welcomed. This evolved into the customs of wearing costumes and playing pranks. Nocturnal pranksters needed illumination, hence the development of jack-o-lanterns. In England, people would fashion them out of turnips or mangel wurzels, which are large, thick roots suitable for carving. In America, pumpkins were used, because they were plentiful and better suited for carving anyway. Jack-o-lanterns are believed to frighten evil spirits. In France, people believed that the dead buried in cemeteries would rise up and participate in a wild carnival-like celebration known as the “Danse Macabre,” or “Dance of Death.”

“Trick or treating,” as such, is a relatively modern development. As I said, it is believed to have evolved from “souling” or “mumming.” The earliest mention of it in print was in 1927, and it did not become widespread until the 1930s in the US. Also, costuming has evolved. Popular fictional characters have been added to the traditional skeletons, ghosts and ghouls. Basically, now, anything goes. As I said celebrating the day is no longer exclusively limited to children. Many adults also wear costumes and attend Halloween parties.

CONCLUSION

At the present time, Halloween, like other holidays, has become highly commercialized. Selling costumes and other related paraphernalia has become big business. Several movie franchises, such as Halloween and Friday the 13th have become very popular, especially at this time of the year. The actress, Jamie Lee Curtis has made a career of starring in six Halloween movies over the years beginning in 1978.

The original religious significance of the holiday has been eclipsed and forgotten by most people. Yes, some people still attend church, but many more attend parties. Many if not most people, especially children, know Halloween merely as a day to dress in costumes and go “trick or treating.” We do love our candy. Speaking of which, special kudos to my grandkids who, aware of my fondness for Snickers, remember to save a bar for me every year.

Last year, due to COVID concerns, “trick or treating” and other Halloween traditions were generally somewhat muted. In 2021 I expect a return to normalcy. Approximately 60% of Americans are vaccinated. Moreover, Halloween costumes do include masks, which provide further protection and should give concerned parents additional comfort.

In the last few years, the “PC Police” have inserted themselves into the holiday. Some of them have maintained that certain costumes are “racist” and should be avoided. I think we can all agree that a Caucasian should not dress up in “blackface.” But, the PC Police go much further. They also disapprove of any costumes that could be perceived by anyone as mocking or derogatory. Some examples would likely include Disney’s Moana, Aztec Indians, Tom Thumb, or Pancho Villa, which, in their minds, could be objectionable to Polynesians, Indigenous People, short people (or should I say “vertically challenged?” I have trouble keeping up with all the PC buzzwords.), or Hispanics, respectively. I say, if your five year-old loves Moana and wants to dress up like her, go for it. Is that really being insensitive or racist? Really? Do the people who are marketing Moana costumes really expect to sell them only to Polynesians? I think not! To me, these objections are just another example of some people who want to dictate to others how to act and live.

Hopefully, after reading this blog you will have gained some knowledge of and perspective as to the origin and meaning of the holiday. Enjoy, and stay safe!

COLIN POWELL

Despite humble beginnings Colin Powell led a very accomplished life.

Colin Luther Powell was born in The Bronx, NYC on April 5, 1937. His parents were first-generation immigrants from the island of Jamaica of mixed Scottish and African heritage. His father, Luther, worked as a shipping clerk, and his mother, Maud, was a seamstress. He attended NYC public schools and graduated from City College of NY with a degree in geology. He described himself as a “C” student (probably due to a lack of motivation rather than intelligence). In 1971 He followed up with an MBA from GW University.

As a youngster one of his jobs was in a local furniture store, which was owned by Eastern European Jews. As the story goes he picked up bits of Yiddish from the employees and customers, and, later in life, at one point he shocked a Jewish reporter by addressing him in Yiddish. In addition, he served as a “Shabbos goy,” one who performed certain tasks, such as lighting the stove, for Orthodox Jews who were forbidden to do so on the Sabbath.

In college he joined ROTC and upon graduation was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the Army. In a long and distinguished military career (35 years) he rose through the ranks to become a four-star general and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, only the 12th person to hold that office. Moreover, he was a diplomat and a statesman, serving as national security advisor and Secretary of State. Finally, in 2008 he was in the conversation as a GOP candidate for the vice presidency under John McCain. Although he declined to run his endorsement was actively sought after by both political parties. In the 2016 election he received three electoral votes (Washington Sate) even though he was not on the ballot. In my opinion, his career was marred by one significant “blip,” which I will described below.

In the eyes of some, there was one significant blemish on his career – his speech at the UN in support of the invasion of Iraq in 2003. At the time, the decision was very controversial. The George W. Bush administration justified the invasion based on intelligence reports, later determined to be inaccurate, if not intentionally misleading, that Iraq possessed “weapons of mass destruction.” Powell, as Secretary of State, gave the aforementioned speech at the UN in which he attempted to justify the invasion, When no such weapons were ever found his reputation “took a big hit.” In 2005 he was forced to resign.

Later, Powell admitted that his speech had contained various “inaccuracies.” Furthermore, he explained that he had been strongly in favor of trying diplomatic measures before resorting to an invasion. In point of fact, he revealed that he spent hours with Bush outlining the ill-advised consequences of “going into an Arab country and becoming the occupiers.” Bush was not swayed. Ultimately, Powell told Bush that he would respect and support whatever decision he made, and he did. The implication is that he gave the speech as a “good soldier” who was following the dictates of his boss. Years later, Powell disclosed that VP Dick Cheney had told him “you’ve got high poll ratings; you can afford to lose a few points.”

CONCLUSION

During his career Powell received innumerable awards and decorations, such as the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Gold Medal, and the Presidential Citizens Medal.

Powell passed away on October 18, 2021 from COVID-19-related complications and multiple myeloma, which compromised his immune system. Despite his one above-described “blip” he remained a hero to many. My personal opinion is that the one “blip” should not override all the good Powell did in his life as a military leader, diplomat and statesman, particularly since he was operating as a loyal subordinate who was “taking one for the team.” Additionally, I think he would have made a good president.

DEMOCRATS’ MASSIVE SPENDING BILL

Most of you have heard about the massive, comprehensive $3.5 trillion or so spending bill that is being debated in Congress (the “Build Back Better Act”). It is supported by President Biden, virtually all Dem lawmakers, and most of the media. Conversely, it is opposed by all GOP lawmakers and two moderate Dem senators. At the moment, the bill is stalled in the Senate. The Dems’ margin in the Senate is so small that they need the support of all 50 Dem senators in order for it to pass. It is generally accepted that this omnibus bill is the centerpiece of Biden’s legislative agenda, and if it fails to pass, his presidency will have been dealt a severe blow.

The purpose of this blog is not to debate the pros and cons of the bill’s provisions. Rather, it is to point out that it is some 2,500 pages long, chock full of hidden clauses, fine print, and “pork,” and virtually none of the congressmen and women who will be voting on it have read it. I repeat, this massive bill will cost roughly $3.5 trillion, will likely remake our way of life, will affect our children, grandchildren, and generations yet unborn, and virtually no one knows all of what’s in it! I don’t know about you, but I find that downright scary and borderline congressional malpractice (if there is such a thing). I admit I have not read the bill, but then it is not my job to do so. However, I can assure you that if I were a member of congress I would make sure my staff had read it and analyzed it before I cast my vote.

Based on my research of summaries provided by various sources, such as CNN, CBS News, Fox News and others the following is a list of what I consider to be the major provisions of this bill Again, I am not offering an opinion, just the facts as I see them. I encourage you to decide for yourself if this is what we want, need and can afford.

  1. $400 billion to enhance child care and universal “pre-k” as part of the Dems’ “cradle to grave” plan.
  2. Two free years of community college regardless of income.
  3. Expand Medicare to include dental, hearing and vision services.
  4. Extend expanded child care credit through 2025.
  5. Comprehensive paid family leave.
  6. Expand eligibility for child nutrition programs.
  7. Invest in affordable housing.
  8. Increase significantly the number of IRS tax agents and expand its tax enforcement mandate.
  9. Various climate change and Green New Deal provisions.
  10. Block oil/gas exploration.
  11. $25 million each for butterflies, “desert pupfish,” and mussels.
  12. $4 billion to remove “racist infrastructure.”
  13. $100 billion to provide amnesty, free college and welfare for illegal aliens.
  14. $500 million for “culturally appropriate” school lunches. (Bagels and lox?)
  15. Free housing for convicted felons.
  16. Taxpayer-funded abortions.
  17. Grants to treat “loneliness.”
  18. $7 billion to universities to provide “equity” training and teach “critical race theory”).
  19. Increase the corporate tax rate from 21% to 26%. This would make it among the highest in the world.
  20. Increase taxes on small businesses.
  21. Increases to the “death tax.”
  22. Increase the top personal tax rate from 37% to 39.6%.
  23. Increase the top capital gains rate from 20% to 25%.

CONCLUSION

One telling fact is that the Dems are trying to pass this bill as a “reconciliation” item. That is, they are claiming it only needs a simple majority to pass the Senate, not a supermajority of 60 votes like non-reconciliation bills. They know they would never get 60 votes, but they could get a simple majority since VP Harris could break a tie in their favor. It is questionable whether or not this bill as it is currently written would qualify. Reconciliation bills are required to be budget-related. Even so, presently the Dems are two votes “short” of a simple majority. Two moderate Dem senators, Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, have expressed reservations about supporting it. In fact, Manchin has called for a “pause” in spending for the moment.

Many of the above provisions are part of the radical/progressive wish list, and have already been proposed (and rejected by most Americans) as part of the “Green New Deal.” The radical Dems are now trying to sneak them in under the radar in this massive bill that few will read. Others sound good and make some sense, but they are too expensive and inflationary. Many believe the tax provisions will strangle the economy, drive businesses overseas, and feed inflation. The economy has already been exhibiting signs of inflation. Anyone who has bought groceries, gassed up their car, or bought clothes recently has experienced this. Inflation hurts everyone. Some of us are old enough to remember the 1970s, which were characterized by high inflation and long gas lines. You have to ask yourself if we can afford the bill, and if the provisions are worth the cost.

The Dem leaders are trying to convince us that we need this bill. Pelosi has repeated her famous line that “you have to pass it to know what’s in it.” Unfortunately, that inane line worked with respect to the Affordable Care Act, but hopefully, it will not work now.

COLUMBUS DAY

On Monday, October 11, we will celebrate Columbus Day, which is a holiday to honor the man who “discovered” America. But, did he? More on that later.

Federal offices and most banks will be closed, so there will be no mail delivery (although national parks will be open). On the other hand, financial markets and most schools will be open. Many cities and towns will hold their traditional Columbus Day parade, including NYC for the 77th year.

CD has been celebrated in the US since 1792. Originally, it was celebrated on October 12, the date on which Columbus made landfall. FDR proclaimed CD a national holiday in 1937. In 1971 pursuant to the Uniform Monday Holiday Act the date was changed to the second Monday in October where it has remained ever since.

In recent years Columbus and CD have become controversial. Many Native American and other activist groups have denoted his brutality toward the indigenous peoples he encountered, particularly in the West Indies. Some states, such as Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, and South Dakota, have authorized alternate holidays, such as Fraternal Day and Indigenous Peoples Day in protest.

For hundreds of years the conventional wisdom was that Columbus discovered America in 1492. Most of us know the basics of the story. Columbus was born in Genoa, which is now part of Italy, in 1451. According to Wikipedia the precise date is not known. He went to sea at around the age of ten and travelled extensively from the British Isles to the West African coast.

By the late 1400s the spice trade between Asia and Europe had become extremely lucrative. The problem was it took too long to travel between the two locations. Either ships had to sail around the “horn” of Africa or caravans had to travel overland through central Asia. Both routes were arduous and dangerous. Columbus became convinced he could find a quicker route. Time meant money, even in the 15th century. He was seeking a “Northwest Passage” to Asia, which would enhance the spice trade between Europe and Asia. His idea that he could find it by traveling west was considered radical and unrealistic.

At the time, most people believed the world was flat, and that if one sailed too far west the ship would simply fall off the edge of the earth. It was not until the 16th century, thanks primarily to the research of Copernicus and Galileo that the scientific community generally accepted the notion that the earth was spherical, not flat, and that it revolved around the sun, not the other way around. He “pitched” his idea all over Europe seeking a sponsor. He was subjected to laughter and ridicule until King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain decided to take a chance on him. He set sail in August of 1492 with three ships – the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria.

On October 12 he made landfall in the current-day Bahama Islands. He named the indigenous people “Indians,” as he thought he was in India. Of course, he was wrong, but the term Indians to identify Native Americans has “stuck.” As colonial Governor of the area he became known for his extreme brutality toward the indigenous people. It was so bad that eventually he was removed from his post.

Eventually, Columbus would make three subsequent voyages to Central and South America. He never set foot in any part of North America. And he never did find the elusive Northwest Passage.

Based on new evidence, it is now generally accepted that Columbus did not “discover” America as we were taught in school. He did not “discover” anything. He was not the first person to set foot in America. Not even close as you will see below. What he did accomplish was to make Europeans aware of the existence of a “New World” which was chock full of unimaginable riches. His successful voyages ushered in a new era of exploration, conquest, colonization and war that would last for centuries. He was not the first, but one can argue that he was the most significant.

CONCLUSION

So, who did “discover” America?

  1. According to historian Michael Bawaya, editor of the magazine, American Archaeology, the original settlers of the NW arrived about 15,000 years ago. At that time the Bering Sea, which separates modern-day Siberia from North America, was more shallow than it is now. In some areas, it was an actual land-bridge. According to the US National Parks Service the land-bridge “played a vital role” in the spread of flora and fauna between the two continents. Animals such as mastodons, wooly mammoths, Arctic camels horses and various species of fish and birds moved freely over the land-bridge establishing migration patterns that persist to this day. Of course, humans followed as they went where the food was.
  2. Archaeologists have discovered evidence of settlements in and around Clovis, NM that are some 11,000 years old. DNA evidence suggests that these inhabitants were the direct ancestors of some 80% of ALL indigenous peoples in the Americas.
  3. According to voanews there is ample evidence that the Vikings inhabited Newfoundland and other parts of eastern Canada as early as circa 1100. Two leaders of these intrepid Viking explorers were Leif Erickson and his son, Eric “the Red.” They did not establish any permanent colonies, but there is ample evidence that they used the area as a winter settlement to make repairs to their boats and “ride out” bad weather.
  4. There is evidence that Chinese and/or Polynesian explorers made their way to parts of South America well before Columbus.

In summary, I believe Columbus deserves credit (and blame) for introducing the New World to Europeans and all that followed, but it cannot be said that he “discovered” it. As indicated by his harsh treatment of the natives he was not perfect; none of us is. But, I believe he deserves to be recognized with a holiday in his memory.

THIS MONTH IN HISTORY – OCTOBER

October has had more than its share of significant historical events. Please see below:

10/1/1908 – The first Model T cars, designed by Henry Ford, went on sale.
10/1/1938 – German troops occupied the Sudetenland section of Czechoslovakia.
10/1/1949 – The Peoples’ Republic of China was founded with Mao Zedong as its leader.
10/1/1979 – The US formally turned the Canal Zone over to Panama.
10/2/1967 – Thurgood Marshall was sworn in as the first African American associate justice of the Supreme Court.
10/3/1863 – President Abraham Lincoln promulgated a proclamation designating the last Thursday in November as Thanksgiving (later changed to the fourth Thursday).
10/3/1929 – The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was officially renamed Yugoslavia.
10/3/1932 – Iraq gained its independence from Great Britain.
10/3/1974 – Hall of Famer Frank Robinson became the first African American to manage a major league baseball club (the Cleveland Indians). Later, he also became the first AA manager to be fired.
10/3/1990 – East and West Germany were united as the Federal Republic of Germany ending 45 years of separation.
10/4/1830 – Belgium gained its independence from the Netherlands.
10/4/1957 – Russia ushered in the Space Age as it launched the first satellite, named Sputnik.
10/5/1908 – Bulgaria proclaimed its independence from the Ottoman Empire.
10/6/1927 – “The Jazz Singer,” the first “talkie,” opened in NYC.
10/6/1928 – Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek became the president of the Republic of China.
10/6/1973 – The “Yom Kippur War” commenced as Egypt and Syria launched surprise attacks against Israel, which was busy celebrating the most sacred of Jewish holidays.
10/6/1981 – Egyptian President Anwar Sadat was assassinated.
10/7/1985 – Palestinian terrorists seized the cruise ship, “Achille Lauro,” and threatened to blow it up if their demands were not met. They infamously murdered an elderly wheelchair-bound passenger, Leon Klinghoffer, by pushing his wheelchair off the deck into the sea.
10/8/1871 – The Great Fire of Chicago destroyed much of the city. Legend has it that Mrs. O’Leary’s cow started it by kicking over a lantern in her barn.
10/8/1918 – Sergeant Alvin York, arguably the US’s greatest war hero, single-handedly took out a German machine-gun battalion, killing and capturing nearly 150 enemy soldiers. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor and the French equivalent, the Croix de Guerre.
10/8/1998 – The House of Representatives voted to launch a formal impeachment inquiry of President Bill Clinton.
10/9/1962 – Uganda gained its independence from Great Britain.
10/10/1973 – Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned amid allegations of income tax evasion stemming from his tenure as Governor of Maryland.
10/11/1939 – Scientist Albert Einstein issued a warning to President FDR that Germany was seeking to develop an atomic weapon. His warning led the US to marshal its resources to develop its own atomic weapon (the Manhattan Project).
10/12/1492 – Christopher Columbus landed in present-day El Salvador, erroneously thinking he had found the elusive northwest passage to India.
10/12/1811 – Paraguay declared its independence from Spain.
10/12/1822 – Brazil declared its independence from Portugal.
10/13/1792 – George Washington laid the cornerstone of the White House.
10/13/1884 – Greenwich, England was established as the basic time zone from which all time is calculated.
10/14/1066 – The Normans defeated the English at the decisive Battle of Hastings, which resulted in the Norman’s conquest of England.
10/14/1912 – Former president Theodore Roosevelt was shot while campaigning for re-election, but he survived.
10/14/1947 – Test pilot Chuck Yeager became the first to break the sound barrier.
10/14/1964 – Martin Luther King became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
10/15/1991 – Following several days of contentious hearings regarding allegations of sexual harassment against a former aide, Anita Hill, the Senate confirmed Clarence Thomas as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
10/16/1701 – Yale University was founded in Killingworth, CT as the Collegiate School of Connecticut.
10/16/1793 – French Queen Marie Antoinette, known for her extravagance and contempt for her subjects (“Let them eat cake.”), was beheaded.
10/16/1853 – The Crimean War (Russia, England and France vs. the Ottoman Empire and parts of present-day Italy) began.
10/16/1995 – Louis Farrakhan led the Million Man March on Washington.
10/17/1777 – The Colonial Army defeated the British at Saratoga in what many historians believe was the turning point of the Revolutionary War.
10/17-25/1944 – The US succeeded in decimating the Japanese Navy at the Battle of Leyte Gulf, which was the largest naval battle in history.
10/18/1945 – The Nuremberg War Crimes Trial commenced with indictments against 24 former Nazi leaders.
10/19/1781 – English General Cornwallis surrendered to the Colonial Army at Yorktown, VA. marking the end of the Revolutionary War.
10/19/1987 – This day was dubbed “Black Monday” on Wall Street as stocks plunged 508 points or 22.6%, the largest one-day decline ever.
10/20/1818 – The US and Great Britain agreed to establish the US-Canadian border at the 49th parallel. The 5,525 mile border is the longest in the world between any two countries.
10/20/1944 – General Douglas MacArthur, who upon fleeing the Philippines in 1942 to escape the Japanese Army boldly asserted “I shall return,” returned as promised.
10/20/1968 – Jacqueline Kennedy, widow of President John Kennedy, married Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis.
10/21/1805 – The British Navy defeated the combined naval forces of France and Spain at the Battle of Trafalgar, obviating the threat of their invasion of England.
10/21/1879 – Thomas Edison successfully tested an incandescent lamp.
10/21/1915 – AT&T transmitted the first successful transatlantic radio voice message (Virginia to Paris).
10/22/1962 – President Kennedy warned Americans of the existence of Russian missiles on Cuba. The so-called “Cuban Missile Crisis” was probably the biggest threat of nuclear war during the Cold War.
10/23/1942 – The British Army led by General Bernard Montgomery launched a major offensive against the German Afrika Corps, led by General Erwin Rommel, at El Alamein, Egypt. Montgomery’s victory marked a major turning point in WWII.
10/24/1931 – Notorious Chicago gangster, Al Capone, was sentenced 11 years in prison for income tax evasion.
10/24/1945 – The UN was founded.
10/25/1854 – 673 British cavalrymen took on a Russian force in the Battle of Balaclava. This famous Crimean War battle was immortalized in a poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson entitled “The Charge of the Light Brigade.”
10/26/1881 – In the infamous shoot-out at the OK Corral the Earp brothers and “Doc” Holliday defeated the Clanton Gang.
10/26/1825 – The Erie Canal, the first man-made waterway in America, opened for business.
10/27/1904 – The NYC subway system opened with a run from City Hall to West 145th Street as the first underground and underwater system in the world.
10/27/1978 – Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat shared the Nobel Peace Prize.
10/28/1636 – Harvard University, the oldest university in America, was founded in Cambridge, MA, funded by donations provided by John Harvard.
10/28/1846 – The ill-fated Donner Party departed Illinois for California.
10/28/1918 – The Republic of Czechoslovakia was founded by combining three provinces that were formerly part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire – Moravia, Slovakia, and Bohemia.
10/28/1919 – Prohibition commenced as Congress enacted the Volstead Act.
10/28/1962 – Russia agreed to halt the construction of offensive missile bases in Cuba and dismantle existing bases, thus ending the Cuban Missile Crisis.
10/29/1929 – The stock market “crashed” ushering in the Great Depression.
10/30/1938 – A radio broadcast of H. G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds” without commercial interruption caused widespread panic, as many people thought that Martians had actually invaded Earth.

10/31/41- The sculptures of four US presidents on Mt. Rushmore was completed. Can you name them? (See below).

10/31/50 – Earl Lloyd became the first AA to play in the NBA (Washington Capitols).

10/31/84 – Indian Prime Minister Indira Ghandhi was assassinated.

BIRTHDAYS – Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi – 10/2/1869; Rutherford B. Hayes (19th President) – 10/4/1822; Frederic Remington (artist)- 10/4/1861; Chester A. Arthur (21st President) – 10/5/1830; Robert Goddard (“Father of the Space Age”) – 10/5/1882; George Westinghouse (engineer and inventor) – 10/6/1846; John Lennon – 10/9/1940; Eleanor Roosevelt – 10/11/1884; Mary Ludwig (aka Molly Pitcher (Revolutionary War heroine of the Battle of Monmouth, NJ) – 10/13/1754; William Penn (founded the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, which bears his name) – 10/14/1644; Dwight (Ike) Eisenhower (WWII war hero and 34th President) – 10/14/1890; Lido Anthony (Lee) Iacocca (auto industry executive) – 10/15/1924; Noah Webster (teacher and journalist who compiled the first dictionaries) – 10/16/1758; Oscar Wilde (Irish playwright and poet) – 10/16/1854; David Ben Gurion (“Father” of Israel) – 10/16/1888; Eugene O’Neill (playwright – “The Iceman Cometh”) – 10/16/1888; William O. Douglas (associate justice of the Supreme Court) – 10/16/1898; John Birks (Dizzy) Gillespie (jazz musician) – 10/21/1917; Pablo Picasso (artist) – 10/25/1881; Hillary Rodham Clinton – 10/26/1947; James Cook (English explorer) – 10/27/1728; Theodore Roosevelt (26th President) – 10/27/1858; Dr. Jonas Salk (polio vaccine) – 10/28/1914; Bill Gates (Microsoft) – 10/28/1955; John Adams (2nd President) – 10/30/1735; Emily Post (arbiter of etiquette) – 10/30/1872; Admiral Will (“Bull”) Halsey (WWII fleet commander) – 10/30/1882.

Quiz answer: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt.