The West Wind

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Micheline's Blog

The West Wind by Tom Thomson (Photo credit: WikiArt)The West Wind by Tom Thomson (Photo credit: Wikiart.org)

The “West Wind” is a major character in The Song of Hiawatha. It is Mudjekeewis, Hiawatha’s father, presuming he has a father.

In April 2012, I published a post featuring Tom Thomson‘s “West Wind” (1917). The “West Wind” is also a major character in the art of Tom Thomson (5 August 1877 – 8 July 1977). I sense similarities.

Thomson died before the Group of Seven was formed. However, given the subject matter of his paintings, his style as an artist, not to mention his lifestyle, that of a woodsman, he is considered as a precursor to members of the Group of Seven, arguably Canada’s most renowned group of artists. However, his lifestyle and the very title of the painting featured above also suggest cultural kinship with the Amerindians of the Central Woodland, thus identified by Stith Thompson.[1]

Tom…

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“The Song of Hiawatha,” completed

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Micheline's Blog

Manabozho in the flood. (Illustration by R.C. Armour, from his book North American Indian Fairy Tales, Folklore and Legends, 1905)Manabozho in the flood. (Illustration by R. C. Armour, from his book North American Indian Fairy Tales Folklore and Legends, 1905) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pictured above, for the second time in this little series on North American Indians, is Manabozho or Nanabozho and his “brothers:” the beaver, the otter and the muskrat. We know that Manabozho, a Objiwa, who lived near Lake Superior, Longfellow’s “Gitche Gumee,” was swallowed by the king-fish whom he killed by pounding on his heart. Manabozho is a “Culture Hero:” he “made land.”

The Historical Hiawatha

Hiawatha, “the hero of these legends [Longfellow’s legends],” was not Hiawatha (who was a historical Iroquois leader of the sixteenth century”), but Manabozho[1] who “joined Huron (the Wyandot people) Deganawida in a plan to end warfare among Native Americans in what is now New York State.”[2]

In fact, as a follower of the Great Peacemaker, Deganawida, the historical Hiawatha did as “

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‘ The Story of Dunlop from Solid Tyres to Motorsport ‘

#AceHistoryNews – Sept.13: From it’s very beginnings it is obvious what Dunlop set out to do, to deliver a better driving experience for drivers and a better riding experience for riders.

history article

‘ Where it all Began at Dunlop ‘

Funnily enough the story does not start on four wheels or even on two, but on three. In 1888 Dunlop’s founder, John Boyd Dunlop, was watching his young son riding his tricycle on solid rubber tyres over cobbled ground. He noticed that his little boy was not going very fast and did not seem very comfortable. In trying to provide his son with a smoother ride and better handling Dunlop took the tricycle, wrapped its wheels in thin rubber sheets, glued them together and inflated them with a football pump. That way he developed the first air cushioning system in history, and laid the foundation for the first pneumatic tyre.

Less than a year later, Dunlop’s invention made its racing debut on two wheels. Enabling a little known rider to easily beat his stronger rivals in a series of bicycle races, thanks to the advantage given by his pneumatic tyres, immediately establishing the role of motor-sports as a feature of the Dunlop heritage.

Dunlop immediately patented his idea and started to develop his invention into a commercial venture, founding what quickly became known as the Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Co. Ltd. In 1890 Dunlop opened its first tyre plant in Dublin, Ireland and three years later its first tyre factory in mainland Europe in Hanau, Germany. By 1895 Dunlop tyres were also being sold in France and Canada, and manufactured in Australia and the USA. By 1898 the business had outgrown its Dublin base, and production was transferred first to Coventry, England and then in 1902 to the 400 acre site in Birmingham, England – later known to the world as Fort Dunlop. In 1910 Dunlop planted its flag in Malaya, establishing 50,000 acres of rubber plantation. In 1913 the first Japanese tyre factory opened its gates in Kobe. In twenty years, Dunlop had made the solid tyre obsolete and grown from pioneer to the first global multinational company. It manufactured worldwide, and sold worldwide.

Its founding father’s entrepreneurial spirit became the ethos of the company, obviously realizing that to be a successful multinational corporation the company would have to remain a pioneer in research and development as well as in business. Dunlop’s objective was and is to continuously produce better products to enhance the performance of vehicles and the driving experience of its drivers.

TO WHERE WE ARE TODAY

By the start of World War II, Dunlop was the byword for success in a range of activities – not only tyres where it reigned supreme on and off the racetrack, but also brakes, wheels, golf and tennis balls, flooring, and other industrial rubber products. It was a supremacy that was to last until the end of the 1960s.

In 1984 came the consolidation of Dunlop’s European and US tyre operations with its Japanese business, as part of the Sumitomo group. In 1999 Sumitomo and The Goodyear Tyre & Rubber Company decided on a global alliance, becoming the world’s biggest tyre producer. Dunlop in Europe is now part of that joint venture encompassing six companies and is embedded within Goodyear Dunlop Tyres B.V.

Our technicians and designers in Europe, the USA, and Japan are committed to sharing their expertise with each other for maximum global benefit so that Dunlop manufacturing sites on three continents continue to supply exceptional performance tyres. The strength of the Dunlop brand and company manifests itself in eight main areas which define Dunlop’s ongoing quest to provide drivers and riders with better driving and riding experiences: Motorsport, R & D, Innovation, Test results, OE, tuning, 4×4, and UHP.

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‘ Freedom of the People for the People by the People ‘

#AceHistoryNews – Sept.13: Most people know l believe in “Freedom of the People” so when l was offered this article by D.Andrews l was delighted and as you read you will see how his opinion of “Freedom” is now in jeopardy.

As l also see freedom of the press, internet and even our personal freedom of choice, being eroded daily by the large co-operations, conglomerates

“Show me a patriot and I will show you a true lover of humanity. Show me a man who says he  loves all equally and I will show you a man who lacks discernment and loves none but himself.”

~ Fletcher of Saltoun, Scot Patriot, 1653-1716.

Freedom brings Happiness

All people desire freedom. We can only grow and learn to the degree that we are free. We can only know true fulfilment to the degree that we are free. It is only through being free that mankind can reach his potential. In short, we can only be happy to the degree that we are free, for those things which bring us true joy can only be obtained through the use of those faculties which freedom vouchsafes to us; and through experience we know that being forced or coerced is anathema to both the human spirit and human enterprise – loss of liberty brings only misery.

History is the Story of the Rise and Fall of Freedom

And yet freedom is something we can easily take for granted – and just as easily lose. History’s repeated cycles are evidence enough of this. Countless civilisations have come and gone, many of them destroyed because they surrendered their freedom little by little until it was too late. For a nation to lose its freedom there need be no military attack. It can be lost because the citizens of that nation have allowed themselves to be deceived through apathy, distractions, fear, ignorance and ebbing morals.

Britain is not immune.

There are Two Forces At Work in the World

Throughout history there have been two competing philosophies of government. One holds to the idea that sovereignty lies in the people and that people have inherent and inalienable natural rights[1] that precede the formation of, or exist prior to, the establishment of government.[2] This philosophy is called Common Law.

The other philosophy teaches that sovereignty lies in an absolute ruler or body of rulers and that rights exist only inasmuch as such rulers grant them. In effect there are no rights, only privileges. This philosophy has a number of names but most popularly is called Civil Law.

Common Law and Civil Law are two opposites. They cannot be reconciled.

J. Reuben Clark, one of the foremost U.S. Constitutional lawyers and statesmen of the Twentieth Century, Under Secretary of State during President Calvin Coolidge‘s presidency, and author of the very skilful Memorandum on the Monroe Doctrine, had this to say about these opposing philosophies of government:

“During the centuries, these two systems have had an almost deadly rivalry for the control of society, the Civil Law, and its fundamental concepts, being the instrument through which ambitious men of genius and selfishness have set up and maintained despotisms; the Common Law, with its basic principles, being the instrument through which men of equal genius, but with love of mankind burning in their souls, have established and preserved liberty and free institutions.”[3]

What is Sovereignty?

In order to fully grasp the gulf between these two ideologies we will need to understand the meaning and importance of sovereignty.

In terms of a nation, sovereignty is the exclusive right to make and enforce its own laws, and to judge disputes of the law. Under Common Law the government can only act because the people (the creator of government) have authorised it. Hence the people are sovereign.[4] The government derives its just powers from the governed. Such a government, based on Common Law, cannot justly possess powers that do not first exist in the individual. In other words, the people cannot authorise government to do something that they first have no right to do, and neither can government take to itself those powers the people have not specifically delegated to it.

Sovereignty can be thought of as existing on many levels but this is only representative as it ultimately resides in (and is never taken from) the people as individuals. It is the people who are the masters, government the servant.

The three cornerstones of national sovereignty are political, military and economic independence.

Nationalism versus Supranationalism

Though nationalism was once very similar in definition to patriotism and independence, it is now often used to refer to a negative rather than a positive concept. Supranationalism, given much more popular publicity than the latter, is the concept that the nation-state no longer matters, that interdependence is better than independence, and that it is necessary to form regions of countries into centrally controlled blocs with the chance of merging those blocs later on to form a world government. Thus supranationalism is merely the process of political globalism.

Let us now define nationalism. Perhaps one of the finest explanations came from Herbert Hoover who said:

“We must realise the vitality of the great spiritual force which we call nationalism. The fuzzy-minded intellectuals have sought to brand nationalism as a sin against mankind. They seem to think that infamy is attached to the word ‘nationalist’. But that force cannot be obscured by denunciation of it as greed or selfishness – as it sometimes is. The spirit of nationalism springs from the deepest of human emotions. It rises from the yearning of men to be free of foreign domination, to govern themselves. It springs from a thousand rills of race, of history, of sacrifice and pride in national achievement.”[5]

Nationalism, then, is an awareness of, and a willingness to defend and promote, the character and sovereignty of our country (patriotism); it is based upon the same feeling we have to grow as individuals, to be self-reliant and to otherwise enrich our character and defend our right to self-determination.

Ezra Taft Benson, Secretary of Agriculture under Eisenhower, conveyed the attitude a nation should consider regarding its own national sovereignty:

“There is one and only one legitimate goal of…foreign policy. It is a narrow goal, a nationalistic goal: the preservation of our national independence.”[6]

Today the foreign departments of the major governments of the world seem to be much at odds with Benson’s belief – Indeed, the very opposite. In a time when, history’s lessons forgotten, there is again a centralist movement towards the few governing the many, we must ask ourselves if this is wise. What does history teach us? How does it measure up to tried and true principles? Does it make sense in light of self-evident truths and plain old common sense?

One of the reasons why some support the spirit of “supranationalism” (whether it be globalisation or regionalisation) is because of a Utopian or (what they suppose to be) a religious ideal. Ezra Taft Benson put straight those with such ideas in no uncertain language:

“We must put off our rose-colored glasses, quit repeating those soothing words but entirely false statements about world unity and brotherhood, and look at the world as it is, not as we would like it to become…We would be committing national suicide to surrender any of our independence, and chain ourselves to other nations in such a sick and turbulent world.”[7]

To those who think that changes in the world somehow change the rules of human nature and the principles of government, Benson further adds:

“The world is smaller, you say? True, it is, but if one finds himself locked in a house with maniacs, thieves and murderers – even a small house – he does not increase his chances of survival by entering into alliances with his potential attackers and becoming dependent upon them for protection to the point where he is unable to defend himself. Perhaps the analogy between nations and maniacs is a little strong for some to accept. But if we put aside our squeamishness over strong language, and look hard at the real world in which we live, the analogy is quite sound in all but the rarest exceptions.”[8]

In conclusion to this section here are, I submit, the problems with supranationalism:

  • Centralising power from the hands of many into the hands of a few goes against the most basic tenets of wisdom and all the lessons of history; for it only makes it easier for evil men to gain control of more people; and such centralism itself provides only a stronger attraction for ambitious and greedy individuals.

    • Political agreements do not change the nature of people (and thus nations). Nations become more united (and less given to war) only through free, mutual and natural relationships. In other words, political agreements play no part except as a danger to stirring up contention by employing coercion rather than influence

    • Our first love and responsibility should be toward our own nation, as with our family above other families. To not love our own country first will not engender a genuine love for all other countries. To think otherwise is to be under the delusion of a false Utopian hope based on neither principle or an understanding of human nature

    • Centralising power will diminish individual liberty; the powers of a just and free government should reside with the people mainly, with a few powers delegated to local governments, and even fewer to the central government

    • The Prime Minister (or anyone else) is not authorised under law to act within a foreign political organisation or to yield sovereignty (this is treason). He is the Prime Minister of his country, elected to that responsibility and paid by the taxpayers of his country.

    • A Brief History of Civil and Common Law

      As far as modern times are concerned, Civil Law originated chiefly from the Roman Empire.[9] For this reason it is sometimes called Roman Law. This philosophy spread over continental Europe[10] and, in the Eighteenth Century, the Civil Law ravaged France in what became known as the Reign of Terror. Today, born of its past and present geographical sway, Civil Law is also known as European Law.

      Common Law has its roots in antiquity. Some believe it to have originated from the divine law of statutes and judgements given to the Israelites by Moses. Whatever its origins, it was brought across Europe and to Britain by the Anglo-Saxons. It was a law common to all those peoples and hence became known as Anglo-Saxon Common Law.[11] In Europe Civil Law was the legacy of the later Roman Empire, but England remained free of this influence and thus the Anglo-Saxon Common Law eventually came to be called English Common Law.

      English Common Law was seriously compromised during the Norman Conquest which brought over the European Civil Law and imposed that system on Britain under the name of Feudalism. However, after long and bloody centuries, rights and freedoms were gradually won back and restored. Perhaps the primary and most notable date of this period is AD 1215 when the Magna Carta was signed – a document that is still held to be binding today as an important part of the British Constitution.[12]

    • The Framers of the Constitution of the United States drew heavily upon Common Law when drawing up that remarkable freedom document. William E. Gladstone (1809-98), the British Prime Minister, was so impressed with the US Constitution that he said it was “the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man”. American freedom drew many of its constituent parts from English Common Law.[13] Ireland, Malta, Australia, Canada and New Zealand also adopted (to some degree) the English Common Law in the founding of their own governments. The same cannot be said for Europe.

      Common Law versus Corpus Juris

      Common Law is a body of concepts and laws in harmony with natural rights and justice.Corpus Juris(Latin for “body of laws”) is a system of judicial laws or tenets rooted in Civil Law and thus based on privilege and the whims of rulers. The following table contrasts the practises (in theory) of the two systems. I have added explanatory notes in the first column in an attempt to highlight the importance of each point and its relationship to and/or effect upon natural rights.

  • Table 1.0 Common Law versus Corpus Juris

    COMMON LAW (UK/US system)*
    No arrest without evidence – thus the citizen is free from harassment by the police and other government officials
    No holding of suspects for more than a fixed and very limited time unless charges presented in open court – this prevents governments from violating the liberty of citizens by unduly detaining them or holding them for reasons other than criminal.Habeas Corpus (Latin for “having the body”) is the right (formally recognised in the Magna Carta) to have the prime evidence against any suspect considered publicly by a court of law within a very short period of arrest (usually 24 hours).
    Right to face your accuser and see evidence – anonymity of accusers would mean the government could fabricate testimonies; accusers (or witnesses) should be known so that they can be held accountable; the accused has no come back where this is not so. Evidence must be known to the accused or else government again could fabricate the same and give the accused no way to prove it false
    Lay MagistratesRight to trial by jury of one’s peers

    ‘Adversarial’ model

    – under Common Law the really important matters are reserved to the people. It is the people of the country (represented by a jury) who act to provide a final legal check on the government by refusing to find a person guilty if they feel the law itself is either unjust or unjustly applied[14], and by limiting sentencing of criminals so that excessive punishments cannot be imposed. The people (peers) are sovereign and must make the final decision. To deprive a country of trial by jury is to deprive its people the last legal means of countering the government, leaving only the right of revolution as an option

    Right to an open court – a defendant must have the right to public witnesses in a trial or else government can act illegally in secret as well as bribe those who it knows will attend. Public and free access to a trial thus helps defend the defendant against miscarriages of justice
    Presumption of innocence (innocent until proven guilty) – Common Law always gives the benefit of doubt in favour of freedom. Unlike Corpus Juris it does not treat everyone like a potential criminal. This is perhaps the most important tenet, for with such an attitude of non-judgement many Corpus Juris laws would not have come into existence in the first place
    Protection against double jeopardy (cannot be tried more than once for the same criminal offence) – Clearly this right protects the defendant from being repeatedly tried until he is found guilty and thus affirms his right to the presumption of innocence
    Burden of proof on prosecutor (it is up to the prosecutor to prove you are guilty) – This is an integral part of the right to presumption of innocence (see above). A part of the right to free speech is to remain silent. Under Common Law there is no requirement or force used on the defendant to testify against himself. In a very real sense it is the charges themselves that are primarily on trial and the integrity of those who have brought them. If the burden was on the defendant to prove himself innocent many accusations made by enemies (knowing the burden would not be on them) could be brought to bear, and the defendant would be continually oppressed with the task of defending himself with eventually no recourse to the resources necessary to clear his name

    * Sadly even these have diminished (both in the US and UK) as governments have departed from the tradition of Common Law.

    It is hoped from the explanations above, and self-evident truth, that the reader will see that Common Law is founded in the liberty of the individual and Corpus Juris on the destruction of the same.

  • History of the EU

    The idea for a single European state did not end with the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire around the turn of the Nineteenth Century. Many individuals set out plans or notions for a united Europe including Leon Trotsky who wrote in 1917:

    “The Federated Republic of Europe – the United States of Europe – that is what must be. National autonomy no longer suffices. Economic evolution demands the abolition of national frontiers…Only a Federated Republic of Europe can give peace to the world.”[15]

    Many European, especially Italian, socialists and communists were taken with the idea of European federalism. This was spear-headed by communist writer and political activist, Altiero Spinelli, who was the chief writer behind the Manifesto for a Free and United Europe written not long after the start of the Second World War – and after the War that paper became the basic document of the European Federalist Movement. Spinelli was a powerful shaper of what today has become the EU, being the major force most recently (until his death in 1984) of the move to make the EU a state in and of itself to which Mrs. Thatcher, then Prime Minister of Britain, said “No! No! No!”. Spinelli was able to push forward his centralist ideas by promoting “subsidiarity” which turned out to be a meaningless concept and deception.[16]

    Jean Monnet, a Frenchman and a senior figure in the League of Nations, was a proponent of the supranational state. He was disappointed, for instance, that the member nations of the League of Nations could exercise a national veto. In 1931 he published The United States of Europe, a collections of papers which addressed the idea of building a Federal Europe within the framework of the League of Nations. Monnet was supported by another senior member of the League of Nations, Arthur Salter. He was British and every bit as much a supranationalist as Monnet.[17]

  • Paul-Henri Spaak was one of the “founders” of the EU. He openly described himself as a national socialist (Nazi) and considered Hitler’s achievements “magnificent”. Hermann Goering in 1940 made the first reference to a “European Economic Community” and Kaiser Wilhelm in this same year spoke of a “United States of Europe”.[18]

    In fact the blueprint for the EU’s Treaty of Rome is believed by some to have been developed by Hitler’s European “architect”, Reinhard Heydrich, who called it “The Reich Plan for the Domination of Europe” (this was widely published in 1942 but copies mysteriously disappeared later so that few now exist).[19]

    The following list (tabulated below) can be found in the work cited in the table title. It shows that the EU architects and the Nazis did share concepts and terminology.

    Indeed the authors of this work, Rodney Atkinson and Norris McWhirter, went as far as to write:

    “To say that the European Union was based on the Nazi version of Europe or that there are parallels would be an understatement. The entire ‘European’ enterprise since the founding of the European Coal and Steel Community in 1951 (and given an enormous boost by the Maastricht Treaty on European Union) is an exact replica of the Nazi’s ideas for Europe…”[20]

    However, note that the idea of a single Europe pre-dates Hitler’s Nazism,[21] though this is not to say that the same hidden interests[22] were not supportive of both Nazism and the European movement, perhaps supporting the former to facilitate the latter. But it was Monnet, at least visibly, who was to found and develop the structural beginnings of the EU and to be accredited as “the Father of Europe”.

  • Table 2.0 Comparison of Nazi ideas for Europe with modern policies of the EU. Taken from pages 124-125 of “Treason at Maastricht” (see “Suggestions for Further Study” at the end of this article).

    In September 2000, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, EU reporter for The Telegraph, wrote a story reporting on recently declassified US government documents showing “that the US intelligence community ran a campaign in the Fifties and Sixties to build momentum for a united Europe. It funded and directed the European federalist movement.”

    Mr. Evans-Pritchard wrote:

    “Washington’s main tool for shaping the European agenda was the American Committee for a United Europe [ACUE], created in 1948. The chairman was [William] Donovan [head of the American wartime “Office of Strategic Services”, which was later to become the CIA], ostensibly a private lawyer by then.

    The vice-chairman was Allen Dulles, the CIA director in the Fifties. The board included Walter Bedell Smith, the CIA’s first director, and a roster of ex-OSS figures and officials who moved in and out of the CIA. The documents show that ACUE financed the European Movement, the most important federalist organisation in the post-war years. In 1958, for example, it provided 53.5 per cent of the movement’s funds.

    HITLER’S EUROPE

    TODAY’S EUROPE

    “Europäische Wirtschaftgemeinschaft” (European Economic Community) European Economic Community
    Lebensraum (living space) European Space
    Collective “access” to basic commodities Common energy, fishing and agricultural policies
    European Currency System European Exchange Rate Mechanism
    Europabank (Berlin) European Central Bank (Frankfurt)
    European Regional Principle Committee of the Regions
    Common Labour Policy Social Chapter
    Economic and Trading Agreements Single Market
    European Industrial Economy Common Industrial Policy
    “The transformation of the laws of supply and demand.” Resistance to GATT
    “Replacing capital with organised labour” European Works Councils

    Sections: Freedom brings Happiness ~ History is the Story of the Rise and Fall of Freedom ~ There are Two Forces at Work in the World ~ What is Sovereignty? ~ Nationalism versus Supranationalism ~ A Brief History of Civil and Common Law ~ Common Law versus Corpus Juris ~ History of the EU ~ The Powers Behind the Scenes ~ The Grand Design of the EU ~ A Resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire? ~ A Brief Review of Treaties and Legislation ~ Structure of the European Union ~ Separation of Powers ~ The EU, Common Law and Natural Rights (Above the Law, Power of Arrest, The Right to Own and Control Property, The Right to Free Speech (and to criticise the EU), The Right to be Left Alone, The Right of Self-Defence, The Right of Free Association, The Right to Trial by Jury) ~ Economic Independence – A Pillar of National Sovereignty ~ Economic benefits of the EU – Fact or Fantasy? ~ The Shadow of Communism ~ Military Independence – A Pillar of National Sovereignty ~ Common Law, Constitutions and Governments: Is the EU Legal in Britain? ~ The EU Constitution ~ Treason at Westminster ~ Conclusion and a Plea ~ End Notes ~ Suggestions for Further Study ~ About the Author ~ Essay Version ~ Feedback Form.

VIDEO: ‘ Ancient Greeks & discovery of the earliest computer gears ‘

#AceHistoryNews – Sept.13: Two storms, separated by 2,000 years, resulted in the loss and recovery of one of the most amazing mechanical devices made in the ancient world.

A reconstruction of Antikythera Mechanism in Athens. Photograph: Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images

A reconstruction of Antikythera Mechanism in Athens. Photograph: Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images

The first storm, around 65 BC, wrecked a Roman vessel taking home loot from Asia Minor. The ship went down near the island of Antikythera, between the Greek mainland and Crete. The second storm, in 1900, forced some sponge divers to shelter near the island, where they discovered the wreck.

This led to the first major underwater archeological expedition. In addition to sculptures and other art works, an amorphous lump of bronze, later described as the Antikythera Mechanism, was found.

On examination, the bronze lump turned out to be a complex assemblage of gears, a mechanical device previously unknown in Greek civilisation. Inscribed signs of the Zodiac suggested that it was probably for astronomical rather than navigation purposes.

Several techniques were used to establish that the AM is about 2,000 years old. Carbon dating of the ship’s timber put it at about 200 BC, but the wreck could have been many decades later.

The style of amphora jars found on board implied a date between 86 BC and 60 BC. Coins found in the wreckage allowed this to be pinned down to about 65 BC.

The inscriptions on the mechanism link it to Corinth and thence to its colony at Syracuse, where Archimedes flourished. This gives an intriguing possibility that the AM was in a mechanical tradition inspired by Archimedes.

Video uploaded on Nov 26, 2008

Curator Michael Wright shows off his model of the Antikythera mechanism. The Antikythera mechanism is an ancient Greek clockwork machine found in a shipwreck, that has taken more than a century to decipher. Wright’s handmade reconstruction is the first to include all the known features of this complex device. For more information see www.decodingtheheavens.com.

The mechanism was driven by a handle that turned a linked system of more than 30 gear wheels. Using modern imaging techniques, it is possible to count the teeth on the wheels, see which cog meshes with which and what are the gear ratios. These ratios enable us to figure out what the mechanism was computing.

The gears were coupled to pointers on the front and back of the mechanism, showing the positions of the sun, moon and planets as they moved through the zodiac. An extendable arm with a pin followed a spiral groove, like a record player stylus. A small sphere, half white and half black, indicated the phase of the moon.

Even more impressive was the prediction of solar and lunar eclipses. It was known to the Babylonians that if a lunar eclipse is observed, a similar event occurs 223 full moons later. This period of about 19 years is known as the Saros cycle. It required complex mathematical reasoning and technology to implement the cycle in the mechanism.

The mechanism could provide accurate predictions of eclipses several decades ahead. Derek de Solla Price, who analysed it in the 1960s, said the discovery was like finding an internal combustion engine in Tutankhamen’s tomb.

The Antikythera mechanism has revolutionised our thinking about the scientific legacy of the Greeks. It is like modern clockwork, but clocks were invented in medieval Europe. It shows that the Greeks came close to our technology. Had the Romans not taken charge, we might today be far in advance of our current level of technology.

All the gear ratios are now understood; there was even a dial to indicate which of the pan-Hellenic games would take place each year, with the Olympics occurring every fourth year. Just one small cog remains a mystery. Research is continuing, and more remains to be discovered about this amazing high-tech device.

First published on Nov.21.2013 by Peter Lynch is professor of meteorology at University College Dublin. He blogs at thatsmaths.com

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‘ Establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC) ‘

#AceHistoryNews – Sept.12: The establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC) spans over more than a century. The “road to Rome was a long and often contentious one. While efforts to create a global criminal court can be traced back to the early 19th century, the story began in earnest in 1872 with Gustav Moynier – one of the founders of the International Committee of the Red Cross – who proposed a permanent court in response to the crimes of the Franco-Prussian War. The next serious call for an internationalized system of justice came from the draftees of the 1919 Treaty of Versailles, who envisaged an ad hoc international court to try the Kaiser and German war criminals of World War I.

Following World War II, the Allies set up the Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals to try Axis war criminals.

The UN General Assembly Resolution n. 260 on 9 December 1948, provided for the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, and was the first step towards the establishment of an international permanent criminal tribunal with jurisdiction on crimes yet to be defined in international treaties. In the resolution there was a hope for an effort from the Legal UN commission in that direction. The General Assembly, after the considerations expressed from the commission, established a committee to draft a statute and study the related legal issues.

In 1951 a first draft was presented; a second followed during the same year but there were a number of delays, officially due to the difficulties in the definition of the crime of aggression, that were only solved with diplomatic assemblies in the years following the statute’s coming into force. The geopolitical tensions of the Cold War also contributed to the delays.

In June 1989, motivated in part by an effort to combat drug trafficking, Trinidad and Tobago resurrected a pre-existing proposal for the establishment of an ICC and the UN GA asked that the ILC resume its work on drafting a statute. The conflicts in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia as well as in Rwanda in the early 1990s and the mass commission of crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide led the UN Security Council to establish two separate temporary ad hoc tribunals to hold individuals accountable for these atrocities, further highlighting the need for a permanant international criminal court.

In 1994, the ILC presented its final draft statute for an ICC to the UN GA and recommended that a conference of plenipotentiaries be convened to negotiate a treaty and enact the Statute. To consider major substantive issues in the draft statute, the General Assembly established the Ad Hoc Committee on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, which met twice in 1995.

After considering the Committee’s report, the UN GA created the Preparatory Committee on the Establishment of the ICC to prepare a consolidated draft text. From 1996 to 1998, six sessions of the UN Preparatory Committee were held at the United Nations headquarters in New York, in which NGOs provided input into the discussions and attended meetings under the umbrella of the NGO Coalition for an ICC (CICC). In January 1998, the Bureau and coordinators of the Preparatory Committee convened for an Inter-Sessional meeting in Zutphen, the Netherlands to technically consolidate and restructure the draft articles into a draft.

Established by the Rome Statute of 1998, the ICC can try cases involving individuals charged with war crimes committed since July 2002. The Security Council, the ICC Prosecutor or a State Party to the court can initiate any proceedings, and the ICC only acts when countries themselves are unwilling or unable to investigate or prosecute.

Despite collective efforts, much remains to be done towards universal ratification of the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the International Criminal Court (ICC), United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said recently encouraging Member States to ratify or accede to it.

“I am convinced that the solution of broadening the reach of the Court is not disengagement, but universality,” Mr. Ban told the 12th session of the Assembly of States Parties of the ICC in a <“http://www.un.org/sg/statements/index.asp?nid=7295“>message delivered by Miguel de Serpa Soares, UN Legal Counsel and Under-Secretary-General.

Of the 139 States that signed the ICC’s founding treaty, 31 have yet to ratify it and 43 States have neither signed nor acceded to it.

“Only once the Rome Statute has been universally accepted can the Court be as effective as we would wish it to be, with a truly global reach,” he said in the message.

Beyond the lack of universality, the ICC also faces other challenges, including a struggle for necessary resources and staffing shortages.

The Court also has difficulties bringing the accused to judgement and delivering justice to the victims without undue delay, the UN chief noted in his message.

“It faces the fundamental challenge of upholding the core principles of justice, equality and the rule of law: that the law applies equally to all,” Mr. Ban’s said, adding that the law must also be delivered independently, impartially and in conformity with international human rights law and standards.

Just as importantly, the law must be seen as being so delivered, Mr. Ban highlighted.

He also noted the importance of building effective national justice institutions and dispute mechanisms.

“Our commitment to international criminal justice is not only a commitment to strengthened international cooperation and dialogue, but also to strengthened domestic human rights and rule of law systems,” he added.

“At this difficult moment, we must remain steadfast and ensure that we are on the right side of history,” the Secretary-General said, stressing that as uncomfortable as it might be, “we must address our challenges head on” by encouraging dialogue and remaining true to the principles of the statute.

“This Assembly is the best forum for this dialogue.”

New York, Nov 20 2013  5:00PM

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‘ Money defined as a Currency as Payment for Good derived from the word Fiat originating from Yuan Dynasty ‘ ‘

#AceHistoryNews – Sept.12: Money is any object or verifiable record that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in a particular country or socio-economic context.
English: Yuan dynasty banknote with its printing wood plate 1287. An upper line reads: 「至元通行寳鈔」 zhì yuán tōng háng bǎo chāo (Pinyin). A left line ('Phagspa script) reads: jˇi ’ŭen baw č‘aw : to say 「至元寳鈔」. The smaller Chinese characters in the bottom half of the note say "(this note) can be circulated in various provinces without expiration dates. Counterfeiters would be put to death.

English: Yuan dynasty banknote with its printing wood plate 1287. An upper line reads: 「至元通行寳鈔」 zhì yuán tōng háng bǎo chāo (Pinyin). A left line (‘Phagspa script) reads: jˇi ’ŭen baw č‘aw : to say 「至元寳鈔」. The smaller Chinese characters in the bottom half of the note say “(this note) can be circulated in various provinces without end dates. Counterfeiters would be put to death.

The main functions of money are distinguished as: a medium of exchange; a unit of account; a store of value; and, occasionally in the past, a standard of deferred payment.

Any kind of object or verifiable record that fulfils these functions can be considered money.

Money is historically an emergent market phenomenon establishing a commodity money, but nearly all contemporary money systems are based on fiat money.

Fiat money, like any check or note of debt, is without intrinsic use value as a physical commodity. It derives its value by being declared by a government to be legal tender; that is, it must be accepted as a form of payment within the boundaries of the country, for “all debts, public and private”. Such laws in practice cause fiat money to acquire the value of any of the goods and services that it may be traded for within the nation that issues it.
Fiat money is currency which derives its value from government regulation or law. The term derives from the Latin fiat (“let it be done”, “it shall be”). It differs from commodity money and representative money. Commodity money is created from a good, often a precious metal such as gold or silver, which has uses other than as a medium of exchange (such a good is called a commodity), while representative money simply represents a claim on such a good.

The first use of fiat money was recorded in China around 1000 AD. Since then, it has been used continuously by various countries, concurrently with commodity currencies.

The text reads: 除四川外許於諸路州縣公私從便主管並同見錢七百七十陌流轉行使, which essentially means that except in w:Sichuan, the bill may be used in the stead of 77,000 wen of metal coinage.

The text reads: 除四川外許於諸路州縣公私從便主管並同見錢七百七十陌流轉行使, which essentially means that except in w:Sichuan, the bill may be used in the stead of 77,000 wen of metal coinage.

The Song Dynasty in China was the first to issue paper money, jiaozi, around the 10th century AD. Although the notes were valued at a certain exchange rate for gold, silver, or silk, conversion was never allowed in practice. The notes were initially to be redeemed after three years’ service, to be replaced by new notes for a 3% service charge, but, as more of them were printed without notes being retired, inflation became evident. The government made several attempts to support the paper by demanding taxes partly in currency and making other laws, but the damage had been done, and the notes fell out of favour 

The successive Yuan Dynasty was the first dynasty in China to use paper currency as the main circulating medium. The founder of the Yuan Dynasty, Kublai Khan, issued paper money known as Chao in his reign. The original notes during the Yuan Dynasty were restricted in area and duration as in the Song Dynasty.

During the 13th century, Marco Polo described the fiat money of the Yuan Dynasty in his book The Travels of Marco Polo.

The money supply of a country consists of currency (banknotes and coins) and usually includes bank money (the balance held in checking accounts and savings accounts). Bank money, which consists only of records (mostly computerized in modern banking), forms by far the largest part of broad money in developed countries.

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#AceHistoryNews – Sept.11: Chief Constable Dennis C. Draper was, in the estimation of long-time crime reporter Jocko Thomas, “the most incompetent and clownish chief Toronto ever had.” Whether it was harassing political activists, entrapping a hoodlum for an armed robbery—possibly so waiting officers could execute him in the act—or unilaterally dropping reckless driving charges against the well-connected son of a federal cabinet minister, Draper’s tempestuous time as head of the Toronto police, from 1928 to 1946, was marked by scandal.

Jack MacDonald being arrested at a Communist meeting at Queen’s Park, October 12, 1929. From the City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1266, Item 18363.

Jack MacDonald being arrested at a Communist meeting at Queen’s Park, October 12, 1929. From the City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1266, Item 18363.

Time and again municipal politicians demanded his resignation. But the police chief’s allies branded such criticisms as illegitimate political interference in policing, or as part of an organized conspiracy “to ‘get Draper’ by whatever means.” Enjoying public popularity by keeping crime low and calling on Conservative political connections, Draper proved impervious to criticism or consequence.

In March 1928, Brigadier-General D.C. Draper was hired as Toronto’s new chief constable by the Board of Police Commissioners. Some in the city, including Mayor Sam McBride, who chaired the three-member police commission, wanted a career policeman promoted from within the ranks. Deputy Chief Robert Beatty was the leading candidate.

Others, wanting strict military discipline imposed on the force, contacted the defense department and were referred to Draper, then a businessman with the International Paper Company. Though he had no training or experience in policing, the Quebec native had a sterling service record in the First World War. And, as a one-time Conservative candidate for Parliament, Draper arrived with a character reference from a senator.

McBride was floored when his fellow commissioners, County Court Judge Emerson Coatsworth and Police Magistrate F.M. Morson, voted to select Draper. Calling it “a direct insult,” the mayor claimed he’d been inundated with complaints that an outsider, with no knowledge of police work or the city, had been appointed over a Toronto man. “Discipline is allright [sic] in its place, but we want a man who is familiar with police duties,” McBride explained. “I think it is a big mistake. I am helpless in the matter—the judges decided it for themselves.” Numerous city councillors and newspaper editors echoed the mayor’s disapproval, wryly noting that at 5’9″ the appointee didn’t actually meet the force’s minimum height requirement of 5’10”.

Draper deserves credit for introducing or broadening the use of technological innovations like two-way communication between scout and patrol cars, and inter-station communications via teletype. He also made merit the sole basis of officer advancement, rather than seniority or fraternal connections. But, Thomas argued, resentment among the rank-and-file soon grew. Officers bristled at the militaristic fervour with which Draper disciplined officers for minor transgressions, like docking one patrolman ten days’ pay for stopping for coffee on a cold night. And officers didn’t appreciate his enthusiasm for joining them in field-work—insisting on being called to the scene of every murder—because he was thoroughly ignorant of police methods.

Draper, who favoured harsh punishment for criminals, once suggested that gamblers be lashed. Although he founded the Prisoners’ Rehabilitation Society, which found job placements for offenders, he also frequently opposed issuing taxi or restaurant licenses—both of which were under the purview of the police commission—to anyone with a criminal record. Draper’s “directness and bluntness…and [his] absence of diplomacy” caused rifts with those at City Hall, yet he showed a charitable nature during the Depression, handing out small sums to any out-of-work veteran who came by his office. “Chief Draper was,” Edward Butts argues in Running With Dillinger (Dundurn, 2008), “a man of great contrasts.”

Deeply suspicious of anyone he perceived to be a Communist, Draper organized a billy club-wielding “Red Squad,” which regularly used force to break up political meetings. To give a typical example of Draper’s tactics, in mid-August 1929 a crowd of “ordinary and harmless, not remotely dangerous” men, women and children gathered at Queen’s Park in mid-August 1929 to hear a Communist Party speech. An “overpowering and shocking” number of policemen on horseback and on motorcycles stormed the scene. Yelling “Get back to Russia,” the officers indiscriminately kicked and beat members of the crowd with batons.

The Star urged Draper “to demobilize,” reminding the police chief “that the war is over and that he is back in Canada.” There was, however, no public outcry against Draper’s heavy-handedness towards leftists. Although the police commission supported Draper’s efforts to stifle freedom of speech in principle, Mayor William J. Stewart balked at the aggressive tactics he employed. As chairman of the police commission, Stewart moved that Draper give “orders to constables to restrain their use of batons,” but Draper flatly refused, and Stewart’s motion was defeated by his fellow commissioners.

Draper was not always impartial in his enforcement of the law. He did little, for example, to stop the Christie Pits riot in 1933, which he derisively summarized as: “Hebrew people arrived and caused trouble.” And, to quote a departmental annual report, Draper linked gambling dens with “foreigners, who, if they are not vicious criminals, can be classified as racketeers whose unlawful activities promote crime in the community.”

One of the police commission’s first efforts to restrain Draper’s power came in the summer of 1931 not long after County Court Judge James Parker was appointed to replace Morson. Parker moved that the police board appoint a new secretary. For decades, the chief constable had acted as the commission’s secretary, with duties that included receiving public complaints and vetting which were brought to the attention of commissioners. Parker and Mayor Stewart intended the change as a matter of policy—not discipline—to free up Draper for actual police work.

The chief constable, however, was aggrieved at any curtailment of his authority. Going further, Coatsworth penned a furious letter to Stewart. In it, he questioned Parker’s impartiality to act as both a commissioner and a trustee of the Telegram (though without any active role in the newspaper’s day-to-day operations). And Coatsworth accused Parker and Stewart of deliberately delaying approval of Draper’s requests for officer promotions and leave to attend a policing conference in Paris that summer.

Globe (September 1, 1931)

Draper, Coatsworth argued, was being “subjected to…persecution” and “harassed to the point of humiliation” by second-guessing police commissioners. Coatsworth expressed hope that a public investigation was drawing near “in which quite a few highly placed men will have to go into the witness-box and explain why they have improperly interfered with police matters and endeavoured to stampede the Chief.”

The tenor of the letter, which many interpreted as a threat intended to result in restoring Draper as secretary, proved embarrassing for Coatsworth when Stewart leaked it to the press. The Star castigated Coatsworth for withholding potentially damaging information in order to gain leverage over colleagues instead of reporting it for full investigation.

The episode may have unnerved Stewart because he offered an unprompted statement that he was not under the influence of the Orange Order—of which both he and Coatsworth were prominent members—or any other fraternal organization. But Stewart and Parker cleverly put an end to controversy by forwarding Coatsworth’s letter to Attorney-General W.H. Price to decide if an investigation was warranted. The province quickly announced they wanted nothing to do with it.

Cobourg, W T R Preston and Frank Regan April 16, 1928

(Right: Frank Regan, April 1928. From the City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1266, Item 13162.)

A much more serious situation—which snowballed into one of the largest scandals in Toronto’s history—came to light in the fall of 1932, when the mother of Albert Dorland, a young hoodlum serving five years at Kingston Penitentiary, convinced lawyer Frank Regan to look into her son’s conviction. When he started asking questions, Regan uncovered a scandal that went to the top of the Toronto Police Department. A common criminal regularly arrested for car thefts and burglaries, Dorland had tried to go straight a few years earlier but was turned down for a taxi license because of his criminal record. In the spring of 1930, he met William Toohey, who’d also served time at Kingston, and the two began planning to hold up the Royal Bank branch at Church and Wellesley.

Unknown to Dorland, however, Toohey had turned police informant as soon as their plans were hatched, and met with Chief Constable Draper and Inspector of Detectives Alex J. Murray numerous times. Yet, instead of arresting Dorland for conspiracy, the senior officers enabled the crime to proceed, providing money so Toohey could acquire the necessary guns and ammunition. After warning the branch manager of the impending robbery, on the appointed day of April 7 Draper posted five armed men inside the bank—their weapons trained on the door—and more men in the neighbourhood, ready to swoop in at a moment’s notice.

When the bandits arrived at the bank door, however, Dorland hesitated. For days, Toohey had been acting strangely. Now, Dorland noticed two men watching from an apartment window and another pretending to read a newspaper outside a nearby drugstore. “Come on, let’s get out of here! It’s a plant!” Dorland cried, as he rushed back to their car. “The coppers are all around the place!” The ensuing car chase culminated in Dorland and Toohey crashing into a police cruiser, and policemen firing 15 or 20 rounds at the would-be stick-up men, who ducked for cover on the floor of their car. Dorland and Toohey didn’t fire, or even raise, their weapons—and, it turned out, the gun Toohey had given Dorland had a broken firing pin and couldn’t fire. The officers were seemingly unaware that no bank robbery had actually taken place, or even that Toohey was an informant.

Faced with the prospect of being charged with conspiracy to rob a bank, Dorland accepted an offer from Draper to plead guilty to a lesser charge of carrying a concealed weapon on the promise of the minimum one-year reformatory sentence. In court, though the charge had been changed to carrying an offensive weapon, Dorland still pled guilty as agreed. Nobody seemed to have informed Police Magistrate Coatsworth of any pre-arranged deal, however, and he sentenced Dorland to the maximum sentence of five years in the penitentiary. Toohey, by prior arrangement with authorities, had only a brief stint at a reformatory.

Star (September 18, 1933)

At the time of Dorland’s arrest and conviction, Toronto newspapers hailed Draper for having foiled the attempted robbery. But when the back-room deal with Toohey was uncovered by Regan two years later, the press turned on Draper. Newspaper editors questioned why Draper would place the public in unnecessary danger with “Wild West police methods” when they could have laid conspiracy charges at any time. Moreover, the police were criticized for giving Toohey money, which was viewed as encouraging criminal activity, and for riddling the criminals’ car with bullets without provocation. The case attracted national newspaper attention.

Amid a chorus of city councillors demanding an investigation, the police commission, presided over by Mayor Stewart, conducted its own in late 1932 and early 1933. Although Draper moved freely about the room listening to testimony and chatting with others present at the commission’s closed door sessions, Regan and reporters had to fight for permission to participate. Evidence presented showed that officers had been ordered to “make a good job of it” if they opened fire on Dorland, and that information had been suppressed by falsifying documents, and Draper ordering his men’s silence. In giving testimony, Draper performed poorly. He got caught in contradictions, claiming he couldn’t remember fine details after three years, and, true to his character, he branded Dorland a Communist. Nevertheless, the police chief emerged unscathed.

Murray, an officer with over 30 years of service and an impeccable reputation for clearing major crimes, was made the fall guy, convinced to resign in late March 1933 through fear of losing his pension. Two senior-ranking detectives, both of whom had over 20 years of service, were demoted. Later, several officers faced, but were exonerated of charges of “shooting with intent to do grievous bodily harm.”

(Right: Inspector of Detectives Alex J. Murray, February 1930. From the City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1266, Item 19219.)

As the police commission’s investigation wound down, the provincial government appointed Justice A.C. Kingstone to lead a royal commission into the Dorland case. At hearings beginning in early April, Kingstone heard much of the same evidence. And his August 1933 report contained damning findings. Kingstone believed that Toohey, not Dorland, initiated the crime; that the police department planned to shoot Dorland had he entered the bank; and that Draper and the police department tried to protect themselves afterward by concealing facts, falsifying documents, and being less than forthcoming in testimony. Most distressing were Kingstone’s assertions that Draper had “contributed to crime” by providing money for the guns, and “[t]hat Chief Draper could have, and should have, arrested Dorland much earlier,” as Butts put it.

Of Toronto’s four daily newspapers—each claiming to represent public opinion—three condemned Draper’s conduct. Only the Globe remained his cheerleader. “It is apparent…that General Draper has been unlucky enough to come into disfavor with certain high-hats at the City Hall,” read one typical letter to the Globe, “who are using the Dorland case—and anything else lying around handy—as a club to ‘get Draper.’” For his part, Stewart complained publicly about a lobby of citizens “attempting to influence him to retain General Draper as Chief of Police,” and threatened to make their names of these individuals known. There wasn’t much public sympathy for Dorland, the victim of Draper’s frame-up. Less than a year after being released on August 31, 1933, Dorland participated in an armed bank robbery, and by the 1940s moved onto drug trafficking.

Nevertheless, the royal commission prompted immediate changes on the police commission. Kingstone had questioned the membership of an active police magistrate. So Premier George S. Henry replaced Coatsworth—who’d thought the whole Dorland affair to be blown out of proportion—with J.R.L. Starr, a Conservative and lawyer who also needed to be appointed a special police magistrate without pay or duties in order to respect requirements of the governing legislation.

Next, at a police board meeting on September 12, Stewart, Starr, and Parker unanimously passed a series of reforms addressing some of Kingstone’s specific recommendations. Aiming to put an end to the police force’s muzzling of free speech, a new rule was introduced that no speech-maker could be arrested until he actually broke the law. The commission closed the police training school Draper had established, which was said by newspapers “to be the cause of police militarism.” They reorganized the reporting structure for the force’s detectives, and implemented new rules to prevent the tampering with police records, withholding information from the Crown Attorney, or withdrawing charges unless directed by a magistrate.

Further discussion of the Kingstone Report and what to do with Draper was tabled for a future meeting because the commissioners had to move on to addressing the latest Draper scandal splashed across the front pages: the chief’s unilateral decision to drop charges against a Conservative cabinet minister’s son.

On the night of September 3, Constable Robert Kerr, patrolling eastbound on Bloor Street near Spadina, trailed a vehicle weaving from lane to lane at over 45 miles per hour. “Why are you driving so fast?” Kerr asked when he pulled the vehicle over at Bay Street. The driver, Rene Duranleau, was returning to Montreal from the United States via Detroit and Toronto with his law partner, Jules Dupre, and the latter’s parents. Duranleau began to explain that he was lost and looking for the King Edward Hotel. “I’m sure you’re not permitted to go at that speed in Detroit or Montreal,” Kerr ended the brief conversation and instructed the driver to follow him to the police station on Belmont Street. There, Sergeant W.E. Wallis, who recorded a charge of reckless driving in his ledger, let Duranleau go on $35 bail—instead of the usual $50—because that’s all the Montreal lawyer had on him.

The next morning, Duranleau and his travelling companions called upon Chief Draper at the police headquarters on College Street. The young lawyer denied that he’d been driving recklessly and registered “a very strong complaint of incivility” against Kerr, Wallis, and other officers. (Testifying before the police commission, Kerr vehemently denied the accusation, stating that he’d used “in the same tone of voice as I would speak to my father or my mother.” In fact, another officer present suggested, the lawyer was the one being rude by loudly proclaiming to Wallis and Kerr that he was the son of the federal Minister of Marine and Fisheries.)

That same afternoon Draper summoned Inspectors Charles Greenwood and Robert Anderson, Kerr’s supervisor and the officer in charge of Belmont Station respectively, to his office. Draper clearly believed that because the visitors were “reputable Montreal citizens” his men should have let Duranleau off with a warning. He was eager to let them leave for Montreal, but, because it was the Labour Day holiday, no police magistrate was available to dispose of the case. At some point, Inspector Anderson responded to a question that “the information had not yet been sworn,” which Draper took to mean that charges had not yet been laid. So the chief ordered them withdrawn—over Anderson’s warning that only a Magistrate could do so—and instructed Anderson to refund Duranleau’s bail money.

News of Draper’s questionable actions became known because of a letter of unknown authorship—written on Royal York Hotel letterhead and signed by an alias, James DeGonaker—was sent to the police commission, and subsequently leaked to the press. Faced with criticism before the police board, Draper blamed it all on Anderson who, he claimed, recommended dropping the charge. Anderson and Greenwood strongly objected to that claim, and noted that the chief had called them into his office no fewer than four times to convince them of his version of events prior to appearing at the commission. “He almost made me believe I was responsible for it,” Anderson recounted, the 23-year police veteran clearly upset.

(Left: Globe [September 16, 1933].)

For Stewart, who led the attack on Draper’s violation of due process at the meeting, it was a question of the chief’s judgment, or lack thereof, and his attempt to evade responsibility for his actions afteward. Given that Draper had based his decision on a misunderstanding of not only what Anderson had said but also what powers a chief constable possessed, at least part of the issue was Draper’s consistent incompetence in policing. It was a common complaint of those under his command and reporters who interviewed him.

The next day, newspapers were full of Draper coverage. Numerous aldermen rehashed all their previous criticisms and called for his resignation. Among them, Ralph Day argued that, despite the recent Dorland inquiries, Draper’s “latest action proves he still thinks he is a law unto himself.” Author and CCF campaigner Donat M. LeBourdais argued in the Star that Draper “by training and temperament [was] unsuited to his position.”

Contacted in Montreal, Duranleau expressed “surprise” that Draper was being criticized for treating “the strangers from a sister Province with kindness and courtesy.” He and Dupre submitted affidavits confirming Draper’s claim Anderson had recommended withdrawing the charges, but the commissioners dismissed accepting these as evidence because it was composed after the scandal had been widely reported across the country. Alfred Duranleau, the Montrealer’s cabinet minister father, didn’t want to discuss the controversy when questioned by Ottawa reporters.

The Globe, which thought Duranleau’s affidavit cleared Draper and put the whole issue to rest, reprinted Draper-friendly comments from prominent citizens and editorials from papers around the province. The standard defense of Draper was that the war hero had made Toronto streets safer by turning the police into an efficient, disciplined force, and public criticism was akin to political interference that undermined his authority and emboldened criminals. His opponents, Draper’s allies believed, actively sought petty shortcomings to exploit as part of a politically-motivated conspiracy “to undermine the Chief’s influence and authority.” The campaign dated to the 1931 municipal election, this thinking went, but now even the Attorney General department’s recent restructuring of the police commission was made in service of conspirators wanting to oust Draper. In numerous editorials, the Globe argued that Draper was “being found guilty [in the court of public opinion] without semblance of a fair trial” where the reasonableness of the charges and evidence would be judged.

2015 09 05 G 18Sep1933 358

(Right: Globe [September 18, 1933].)

Much of the Globe‘s criticism for the coming weeks focused on unmasking the author of the DeGonaker letter, which, the paper reasoned, could only have been one of Duranleau, Draper, Anderson, or Greenwood. Although both Anderson and Greenwood stringently denied any involvement, it’s plausible that one of them wrote the letter—or provided the information necessary to produce it. The enmity towards Draper among senior officers, Thomas recounted, was such “that they looked for opportunities to tip off the newspapers when Draper blundered.” Resentment of Draper among the rank-and-file was such by the 1940s that chants of “Chisholm for Chief!” reportedly broke out at Toronto Police Association meetings in reference to the deputy chief.

In an extended statement to the press about Duranleau coverage, Stewart responded to those who sought “to turn a martinet into a martyr,” denying that he was “wantonly out to get Draper.” He thought Duranleau’s affidavit was all-too-convenient. “His grievance,” Stewart said of Duranleau, “seems to be that the police did not care who he was. That is the best tribute that could be paid to the policemen. Apparently it was only the Chief who was impressed with who Mr. Duranleau was.”

The mayor hinted that there were other instances of Draper overstepping his legitimate authority—though he refrained “from going into details of what did happen and what might have happened.” And Stewart casually mentioned “inner discontent” and disharmony on the police force. Stewart felt empowered to make such overtly critical statements in a public forum—treading close to being unprofessional—because he had secured Parker’s vote to get rid of Draper.

Over the course of a two-hour meeting on September 22, Stewart introduced a motion demanding Draper’s resignation. The commissioners unanimously consented to the motion’s preamble, outlining their criticisms of Draper’s actions and poor judgement, being recorded into the minutes (though not released to the media). But, on the question of Draper’s resignation, Parker abandoned Stewart, and joined Starr in defeating the mayor’s motion. Furthermore, the two voted, with Stewart dissenting, to take no further action on the Kingstone report, Dorland affair, and the Duranleau incident.

After the meeting, Stewart and Draper made conciliatory statements about moving beyond their differences. But Stewart was visibly upset. Heading into the meeting, Parker had assured him of his support for demanding Draper’s resignation, then abandoned him. Newspapermen, according to Thomas’ memoirs, were tipped off in advance. And the Star had even begun preparing the story and page layout complete with banner headline. Word leaked to Draper, and he phoned allies in the local business community, who then called their friends in Ottawa. Eventually, in Thomas’ telling, Parker “got a call, telling him that if he wanted to stay in good with the people who counted, he was to stay with Draper.” It was the nearest Draper would come to losing his job.

Globe (September 23, 1933)

While the Globe‘s editors gloated, the Star was relieved the outcome drew to a close “the long disturbance which has existed in this city between an ineffectual Board of Police Commissioners and a Chief Constable who knows no law but martial law.” Most perceptively, “The Observer,” a columnist for the Star, saw the police commission succumbing “to the quiet and unostentatious pressure of the wealthy element in Toronto society” willing to overlook all of Draper’s failings because they believed only his ruthlessness protected them from “rioting mobs [and] Soviet revolutions.” In his memoirs decades later, Thomas agreed with the assessment that Draper’s friends in the business community and his Conservative allies kept him in office. (It’s a quirk of Toronto’s political scene that both Draper and his sturdiest foe, Stewart, were members of the same broad party.)

For the next few years Stewart and Draper shifted between being friends and enemies. They were thrust together as allies in the summer of 1934 when the newly elected Liberal government took exception to the police commission’s refusal to permit the Ontario Hunger-Marchers Committee to parade through city streets to Queen’s Park. In response to their closing “the gates of Toronto against a delegation of our own citizens coming to the city,” Premier Mitch Hepburn issued an order-in-council to unceremoniously dump Starr and Parker from the commission. The attorney general hinted that the same fate would have befallen Stewart and Draper, who’d both also supported the hunger march ban, if it had been in the province’s power.

2015 09 05 Star 31Aug1933 248

(Left: Star [August 31, 1933].)

In 1936, the police commission, chaired by Sam McBride, who’d returned to the mayoralty, was investigating allegations made by William Miller, a former inspector, that Draper had tried to influence the 1931 municipal election. And Stewart, then gearing up to run for leadership of the provincial Conservative Party, weighed in from the sidelines. Miller’s allegation that Draper had told senior officers that Stewart’s election as mayor “was not in the best interests of the Toronto police department,” was deemed unfounded when only two officers—including Robert Anderson—out of more than a dozen interviewed by the commission concurred with Miller’s account.

But the discussion came on the heels of another royal commission into the department—specifically investigating a group of policemen, “the 100 Per Cent Gang,” who’d been stealing from businesses and warehouses since the mid-1920s—and there were renewed calls for Draper’s resignation. And, after the current commission declined to revisit the Dorland and Duranleau cases while discussing current circumstances, Stewart joined the debate, perhaps sensing an opportunity for headlines and settling old scores. He offered city council a copy of the minutes from the September 22, 1933, including the never-publicly-released motion preamble Stewart thought to be a most damning indictment of the chief’s career on the force. Aldermen debated the ethics of accepting Stewart’s offer over the objections of the current police commissioners, and the furor eventually died down.

During the Second World War, Draper seemed distracted in his duties. Volunteering to support Canada’s war effort in any capacity, the sexagenarian went overseas for months at a time on unpaid leave. The rumour was he was organizing home defense efforts in England, but he never talked about his work during the war. When he was in the office, he was more eager to discuss war strategy, moving pushpins on a large map of the war fronts on his wall whenever reporters stopped by for comment on a police matter.

Draper’s final high-profile brush with scandal came through his involvement in a serious traffic accident while returning home to Toronto from Montreal on September 28, 1941. Near Newtonville, he tried to pass a car on a curve and crashed into an oncoming vehicle. Draper was injured, but not as seriously as the driver of the other car and his three passengers. In Jocko Thomas’ telling—which differs slightly from newspaper reports—police arrived on the scene to find Draper, liquor on his breath, directing traffic (after having assisted with the injured).

2015 09 05 GM 19Jan1946 400

(Right: Globe and Mail [January 19, 1946].)

Facing charges of reckless driving, Draper’s trial in Cobourg attracted swarms of Toronto media. Draper was evasive on the stand, blaming fatigue for the accident and suggesting that everything would’ve been fine if the other car had pulled to the shoulder. There was no evidence of skid-marks on the asphalt to indicate he had braked. The judge ruled that, even if tired, Draper bore responsibility for operating his vehicle safely. He found the chief guilty and fined him $300. This, Thomas adds, made for some awkward moments at police commission meetings when Draper continued to oppose restaurant and taxi licenses for people with criminal records.

Mayor Fred Conboy hastily convened the police commission to discuss temporarily relieving Draper of his duties. Conboy was overruled by the commission’s judicial members, Frank Denton and A.E. Kirkpatrick. A few months later, after Draper’s appeal was denied, Conboy’s colleagues wouldn’t even discuss the idea of disciplining or suspending Draper. Kirkpatrick did not believe the conviction impaired Draper’s ability to do his job because a motor vehicle infraction didn’t carry any “question of moral turpitude.”

Rumours started in late 1945 that Draper, who’d already passed the standard retirement age, was contemplating leaving the department. The only snag was that Draper wasn’t eligible for a pension because he’d never been a front-line officer, and would have to rely on a meagre army annuity. Recognizing an opportunity, Mayor Robert H. Saunders arranged for the department to retain Draper as a special consultant at a salary of $2,000 for at least five years once the police board accepted his resignation in January 1946. “Of course,” Thomas recalled, “no one expected him to advise anybody on anything, and he was never again seen at police headquarters after his departure.” Deputy Chief John Chisholm, a career policeman, was the board’s unanimous choice as the new chief constable.

Sources consulted: Helen Boritch and John Hagan, “Crime and the Changing Forms of Class Control: Policing Public Order in ‘Toronto the Good,’ 1859-1955,” in Social Forces Vol. 66, No. 2 (December 1987); Edward Butts, Running With Dillinger: The Story of Red Hamilton and Other Forgotten Canadian Outlaws (Dundurn, 2008); Allan Levine, Toronto: Biography of a City (Douglas & McIntyre, 2014); Greg Marquis, “Working Men in Uniform: The Early Twentieth-Century Toronto Police,” in Histoire sociale – Social History (November 1987); Jocko Thomas, From Police Headquarters: True Tales from the Big City Crime Beat (Stoddart, 1990); and articles from the Globe, the Globe and Mail, and the Star.


CORRECTION: September 7, 2:34 PM This article incorrectly stated that Rene Duranleau’s car was speeding at 45 kilometres per hour. This has been corrected to 45 miles per hour. Thanks to Jim Clarke for spotting the error.

First published on September 05 2015 here: 

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The life of the tallest man who ever lived is utterly fascinating

robert wadlowScreen grab

#AceHistoryNews – Sept.10: The world’s tallest man was 3 feet tall as a toddler, could carry his father at age 9, and stretched to a fantastic height of 8 feet 11 inches.

This is the incredible life of Robert Wadlow, whose hands measured a foot long and whose arms spanned 9 feet 5 inches.

Robert Pershing Wadlow was born February 22, 1918, and weighed a healthy 8 pounds 6 ounces. Soon after his birth, he began to grow at an astounding rate. In this photo, 6-month-old Wadlow weighed 30 pounds, about twice the normal weight for his age.

Screen grab

Source: YouTube/Top Trending

As a kindergartner, 5-year-old Wadlow wore clothes intended for a 17-year-old. Three years later, Wadlow towered at a height of 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighed nearly 200 pounds. Here’s Wadlow’s height and weight plotted alongside the CDC’s growth chart for healthy males aged 2 to 20 years old.

Andy Kiersz/Business Insider

By the time he was 10 years old, Wadlow weighed 210 pounds, was more than 6 feet tall, and wore a size 17.5 shoe.

Screen grab

Source: YouTube/Top Trending

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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►Greek Mythology: Atlas / Poem: “Atlas ♁”, by Eva Xanthopoulos.-

Great post well researched regards Ian 🌹

⚡️La Audacia de Aquiles⚡️

atlas

guarda_griega1_3-1-1-1 (1)

atlas2 “Atlas holding up a celestial map”. Sculpture by Artus Quellinus. (17th century). Royal Palace in Amsterdam.

guarda_griega1_3-1-1-1 (1)

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Atlas (which means ‘very enduring’), was one of the Titans. He was son of  Iapetus (a Titan, son of Uranus and Gaia), and the Oceanid Clymene.

Atlas´ brothers were Prometheus (meaning ‘forethought’, the Titan who gave the human race the gift of fire and the skill of metalwork), Epimetheus (meaning ‘afterthought’. He was Pandora´s husband) and Menoetius (meaning “doomed might”).

Atlas was married to his sister, Phoebe (Titan and Goddess of Prophecy). 

He had numerous children, including  the Pleiades (the stars that announced good spring weather), the Hesperides (the maidens who guarded a tree bearing golden apples), the Hyades, (the stars that announced the rainy season), Hyas (Brother of the Hyades, and spirit of seasonal rains), the nymph Calypso, Dione (Goddess of the Oak and the personification of a more…

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