Saturday, 3 September 2016

Weekend Update 03/09/2016 – A Lesson From GB History.

"It is always the best policy to speak the truth, unless of course, you are an exceptionally good liar."

Jerome K. Jerome, 19th century English novelist. Three Men In A Boat.

The great and the good, the not so good and the bad, plus the downright awful and wicked, are all assembling in Hangzhou China, for the latest in G-20 summits. This time round there are at least 20 agendas, probably many more as the likes of the EC, the EUSSR, and the loathsome IMF are all in attendance, plus all of their step and fetch-its, flunkies, mistresses and boyfriends. To say nothing of their spooks and counter spooks.

We open with a look at Hangzhou China. What crime did the poor people of Hangzhou ever do to the world to deserve a punishment like this?

Getting around

What is there to see in Hangzhou and how do we get around?

As the world’s movers and shakers convene in Hangzhou for the G20 summit come September, they will likely find themselves far less familiar with the city than with others in China, such as Beijing and Shanghai, where most major political and economic forums are usually held.

This, however, gives them the perfect opportunity to explore and experience a new Chinese city afresh – one with a distinctly different feel and flavour from all others.

Hangzhou goes by many names. It is one of China’s eight ancient capitals. It is known as the country’s most romantic city as well as the oriental leisure capital. It has been called China’s Silk City as well as China’s Silicon Valley. Marco Polo called it the world’s finest city; Yuan dynasty poet Yang Chaoying went as far as to liken it to paradise.

But does the city really live up to its many names? We check out the many different facets of the city – its rich culture, natural beauty, infectious energy – and leave you to decide.

World Leaders Arrive for G-20 Summit in China

September 3, 2016 — 4:12 AM BST
World leaders from 20 industrial and emerging-market nations are arriving in the southern Chinese city of Hangzhou for a summit starting Sunday.

Among the latest arrivals Saturday morning are Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has already visited Beijing and Shanghai on a state visit, and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

They join heads of state who arrived a day earlier, including Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and South Africa's President Jacob Zuma — the only African member of the G-20. Argentine President Mauricio Macri and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also arrived in Hangzhou.

President Barack Obama is expected to meet later Saturday with his Chinese host, President Xi Jinping. Ahead of the talks, China announced on Saturday that it has ratified the emissions-cutting agreement reached last year in Paris, giving a big boost to efforts to bring the accord into effect by the end of this year.

The United States is also expected to announce that it is formally joining the Paris Agreement.

And while we await the new commandments from the G-20 in Hangzhou, we note that a new opportunity for Hillary Clinton, Mad Dog McCain, and the American War Party to install ISIS in Uzbekistan has opened up, to once again try to overthrow Russia and China. For everyone’s sake we can only hope that they don’t get to succeed.

Obituary: Veteran Uzbek leader Karimov battled Islamists, suppressed dissent

Fri Sep 2, 2016 10:59pm EDT
Uzbek President Islam Karimov, who the government said on Friday had died aged 78 after suffering a stroke, saw himself as the protector of his Central Asian nation against the threat of militant Islam. To his critics, he was a brutal dictator who used torture to stay in power.

Karimov, who steered his former Soviet republic to independence from Moscow in 1991, tellingly chose Tamerlane, the 14th century Central Asian ruler and conqueror with a penchant for mass murder, as Uzbekistan's national hero.

Karimov brooked no dissent during his 27 years at the helm, stubbornly resisted pressure to reform the moribund Uzbek economy and jealously guarded his country's independence against Russia and the West.

In a typically feisty rebuff to Western calls to respect human rights, Karimov said in 2006: "Do not interfere in our affairs under the pretext of furthering freedom and democracy, Do not ... tell us what to do, whom to befriend and how to orient ourselves."

Under his rule, Uzbekistan, a country of 32 million people straddling the ancient Silk Road that links Asia and Europe, became one of the world's most isolated and authoritarian nations.

Karimov regularly warned of the threat posed by militant Islamists to the stability of the vast, resource-rich Central Asian region, but his critics accused him of exaggerating the dangers to justify his crackdowns on political dissent.

"Such people must be shot in the head," he said of the Islamists in a speech to parliament in 1996. "If necessary, if you lack the resolve, I'll shoot them myself."

And so this weekend we get to turn to a little history from soon to be EUSSR free, John Bull’s past. 350 years ago this week, Great Britain’s most important city was burning down. A feat not repeated, although Germany almost accomplished it in December 1940. Stoically, John Bull fought on, supported only by the Dominions, the Empire, and those very few neutrals who really believed in democracy and racial freedom from terror.

The Great Fire of London, 350th anniversary: How did it start and what happened?

2 September 2016 • 10:44pm
As history would have it, the fire that engulfed London for four days began on Pudding Lane. A baker by the name of Thomas Farriner was blamed for the blaze - something he denied for the rest of his life. 

The small blaze spread between September 2 and 5 1666, leaving 436 acres of the city completely destroyed.

On it's 350th anniversary, the capital is hosting a series of events to mark the dark period in its history.
In the early hours of Sunday, September 2 1666, a small fire started on or close to Pudding Lane, in the centre of London.

The shop where the fire is believed to have begun was that of Thomas Farriner, King Charles II's baker. 

In the Museum of London's exhibition 'Fire! Fire!' - the blame if firmly placed on Mr Farriner's bakery. On display is a map which would have been used by those in charge of rebuilding the city. One point on the map reads: "Mr Farriner's grounde where the fyer began."

However, the baker claimed for the rest of his life that his oven had been properly raked out before he went to bed and could not have been the cause.

---- The famous diarist Samuel Pepys provides the best recorded account of the tragedy. Pepys described the chaos as "ten thousand houses all in one flame, the noise and cracking and thunder of people, the fall of towers, houses, and churches, was like a hideous storm.

“The air all about so hot and inflamed that at last one was not able to approach it.”

---- Pepys blamed the length of time taken to put the fire out on the lord mayor at the time, Sir Thomas Bloodworth, for not doing enough to stop the fire spreading.

"People do all the world over cry out of the stupidity of my Lord Mayor in general; and more particularly in this business of the fire, laying it all upon him," he wrote.

It was eventually Pepys himself, who had the idea of blowing up buildings to remove a trail of wood for the fire to follow. It may well have prevented countless deaths.

---- Though around 13,200 houses and 84 churches were destroyed, only six people are known to have died.

Yet as many as 100,000 people were left homeless, many forced to live in temporary fix shacks in surrounding fields for up to eight years.

But the Great Fire of London is not the only date some 300 hundred years ago in British history. Long before there was a Germany, long before there was a despised wealth and jobs destroying EUSSR, long before there was an addled Kiev coup plotting USA, long before there was a Giant Ponzi Scheme called communist China, the puritan tyrant behind the English civil war, and Republican England, Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, a king in all but name, died on September 3rd, 1658.

Who was Oliver Cromwell?

Oliver Cromwell occupies a unique place in English history. Between 1653 and 1658 he ruled the UK, with more or less the same powers as a monarch, but as he was 'Lord Protector' of the Commonwealth, he had no crown. However, in the beginning he was just a Member of Parliament for Cambridge, from a fairly humble background, but with a strong Puritan faith and a desire to ensure the country was ruled justly.

Cromwell was able to rise to his unique position of power because he was a man of many skills. He was a skilled politician, with a strong personal power base. He had the foresight, determination and strength of will that carried the parliamentarian cause through the crucial trial and execution of King Charles I and its messy political aftermath.

---- Cromwell was also a very controversial figure. He was hated by royalists for his role in the trial and execution of Charles I. He was also unpopular with many parliamentarians who disliked the 'tyranny' of the army and after realising he could not work with them, Cromwell disbanded the Rump Parliament in 1653. In one sense, he replaced a monarchical regime with a puritanical republic. His ideal of religious toleration, which was probably too advanced for its time, was viewed suspiciously by his contemporaries. And his destructive Scottish and Irish campaigns have blackened his historical reputation as statesmen.

Oliver Cromwell

After his death he was given a state funeral similar to that of a king, and buried in Westminster Abbey just like a king. But after his death everything fell apart just like the workers’ paradise of Venezuela today, and King Charles II was restored in 1660. On January 30, 1661,the anniversary of the execution of his father,  King Charles the second got even.

The incredible journey of Oliver Cromwell's head

IT HAS been described by its auctioneers as an “extraordinary item – a relic of one of the most remarkable moments in history”.

By PUBLISHED: 00:03, Tue, Dec 2, 2014
But Oliver Cromwell’s gilded burial plaque – which is set to be sold for £12,000 at Sotheby’s later this month – is perhaps the most straightforward element of one of the most macabre and bizarre incidents in our country’s history. It concerns a vengeful king, an exhumation and a missing head.

The reason that the plaque is on sale, rather than remaining with Cromwell’s body in perpetuity, is down to the exhumation of his body 353 years ago from his resting place in Westminster Abbey.

This happened just three years after his death in 1658 when the new king, Charles II, ordered the dead body of his father’s murderer to be hanged, drawn and quartered. Cromwell’s head – for it was he who had ordered the late king Charles I to be killed - was then skewered on a spike at Westminster.

There his head remained for a quarter of a century as a grisly reminder to anyone thinking of crossing the monarchy. But then one day in a storm the pole upon which Cromwell’s cranium was displayed snapped in a storm and it rolled into a gutter where it was picked up by a surprised sentry.

Cromwell’s by now rather battered head was then launched on three centuries of amazing adventures, until it was once again buried, this time in a secret ceremony in 1960 at his former Cambridge college.

---- Eventually the king was accused of behaving in “an unlimited and tyrannical” way, and sentenced to death by a “severing of his head from his body”. A death warrant was drawn up, signed by an array of people including Cromwell, and Charles I was beheaded on 30 January 1649.

The monarchy was abolished immediately and the country became a Commonwealth under the rule of Cromwell himself, who was offered the throne but decided to become “Lord Protector” instead. 
Unfortunately, after nine years Cromwell contracted malaria and died in 1658.

His magnificent funeral was a regal affair witnessed by thousands and drawing on all the trappings of state. After his burial at Westminster Abbey, his death left a vacuum that his son, Richard Cromwell, attempted and failed to fill and after only nine months the latter was out of a job.

This cleared the way for Charles II to step into the breach and run the country. But he was filled with murderous rage and wanted revenge for his father’s execution. He ordered the surviving signatories to his father’s death warrant to be hanged. He then extended the same privilege to Oliver Cromwell, even though he had been dead for three years. And so, on 30 January 1661, Cromwell was dug up and beheaded.

His body was buried in a grave under the gallows and his head was probably dipped in tar, as was the custom at the time, before being impaled on a 20ft tall “traitor’s pole” and displayed on the roof of Westminster Hall together with the heads of two other regicides who had been co-signatories to the death warrant of Charles I – John Bradshaw and Henry Ireton – and had been similarly posthumously punished.

---- Cromwell’s head rolled into a gutter and is believed to have been found by a soldier who promptly took it home and, according to a diarist of the time, “secreted it in a chimney-corner”.

When Cromwell’s skull was discovered to be missing there was a huge outcry, and the head did not reemerge for another 25 years or so. According to the Jonathan Fitzgibbons, biographer of Cromwell’s Head, which was the title of his 2008 book about this curious case, tradition had it that the sentry harboured republican sympathies and hid the severed head like a holy relic in his home, revealing its existence only on his deathbed.

His daughter later sold the by now worm-eaten old thing, and during the 18th century it passed through the hands of various entrepreneurs and showmen who thought – mistakenly as it turned out – that they could make their fortune by exhibiting the vulgar curiosity which still had part of the spike rammed through its skull. They included in 1789, a certain James Cox who paid the comic actor Samuel Russell £118 for it.

A lesson there for tyrants everywhere, from the ever interesting, gruesome past of John Bull’s history.

We end with Jason’s update from Lake Tahoe, sunny California. Thankfully Jason is out of hospital and on his way to a full recovery. This weekend, hope for a drought hit Lake Tahoe.

20th Annual Lake Tahoe Summit Draws Presidential Visit as Longtime Nevada
Senator, Democratic Party Stalwart Harry Reid Nears Retirement
N. Jason Jencka September 3nd, 2016 1:40 am ET

As has been the tradition for the past two decades, California and Nevada politicians gathered on the shores of Lake Tahoe to discuss the state of the lake and of the multifaceted legislative effort aimed at its preservation. There is a long history of legislated & regulated preservation in the Tahoe basin as the so-called Bi-State compact between California and Nevada came into existence in 1969 on agreement between California’s then-Governor Ronald Reagan and Nevada Governor Paul Laxalt. The history of action at the Federal level begins with a 1997 Executive order by Bill Clinton designating the lake an “area of national concern”. This formed the foundation for what has become a $2 billion public-private conservation and preservation effort in the years since. The net impact of this expenditure is that Tahoe’s water clarity measure has stabilized near 75 feet after touching a record low of 64 feet in 2007. For perspective, clarity measured by the same Secchi Disk instrument was near 100 feet in 1970.

As was acknowledged by all in attendance, including such notables as California Governor Jerry Brown, the lake continues to face challenges brought on by persistent drought and warming trends brought on by climate change, but Tahoe’s relative stability is a testament to the efficacy of multilateral cooperation toward environmental goals. The fact that such expenditure in time and capital has been required to bring a measure of stability to but one medium-sized lake is stark evidence that the idiom that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” applies as well to the natural environment as it does to individual health.

N. Jason Jencka is presently studying Finance and Economics at Sierra Nevada College, located near the shores of Lake Tahoe on the border of California and Nevada.His interests include the interplay between world markets and the global political sphere, with a focus on developments of both sides of the Atlantic in North America and Europe.In his leisure time he enjoys connecting with those people that have an interesting story to tell and a genuine desire to make an impact in the world.

Have a great weekend everyone and try not to lose one's head.

"The tragic lesson of guilty men walking free in this country has not been lost on the criminal community."

Hillary Clinton, with apologies to Richard Nixon.

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