Tag Archives: Texas

Almanac – May 23

1701 – Captain William Kidd hanged for piracy, at Execution Dock, Wapping, in London. During the execution, the hangman’s rope broke and Kidd was hanged on the second attempt. His body was gibbeted over the River Thames at Tilbury Point as a warning to  would-be pirates.

Some modern historians deem his piratical reputation unjust, as there is evidence that Kidd acted only as a privateer. Kidd’s fame springs largely from the sensational circumstances of his questioning before the English Parliament and the ensuing trial.

 His actual depredations on the high seas, whether piratical or not, were both less destructive and less lucrative than those of many other contemporary pirates and privateers

.

.

.

1934 – American bank robbers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were ambushed by police and killed in Black Lake, Louisiana.

Even during their lifetimes, the couple’s depiction in the press was at considerable odds with the hardscrabble reality of their life on the road—particularly in the case of Parker.

Though she was present at a hundred or more felonies during her two years as Barrow’s companion, she was not the machine gun-wielding cartoon killer portrayed in the newspapers, newsreels, and pulp detective magazines of the day. Gang member W. D. Jones was unsure whether he had ever seen her fire at officers.

 Parker’s reputation as a cigar-smoking gun moll grew out of a playful snapshot found by police at an abandoned hideout, released to the press, and published nationwide; while she did chain-smoke Camel cigarettes, she was not a cigar smoker.

Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker were wild and young, and supposedly slept together. Without Bonnie, the media outside Texas might have dismissed Clyde as a gun-toting punk, if it ever considered him at all. With her sassy photographs, Bonnie supplied the sex-appeal, the oomph, that allowed the two of them to transcend the small-scale thefts and needless killings that actually comprised their criminal careers.

.

.

1943 – General Johnson born. American soul  songwriter and record producer, and frontman of Chairmen Of The Board.

.

.

A&A forum banner

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Almanac

Thatcher Dead – Her Spawn Live On

Well, I suppose if I can find one good thing to say about Thatcher,  its that she didn’t  encourage the fruit of her loins – the terrible twins Carol and Mark – to follow her into politics.

Carol has followed some kind of career in journalism, as an author (biographies of mummy and daddy) and a “personality”.  A very annoying personality, and one no-one would have entertained on national media had it not been for her parentage.

She did have her moments.

In 2007 she travelled to the Falkland Islands and Argentina for the documentary Mummy’s War...

During her stay in Argentina she met a group of mothers who lost their sons during the conflict and stated, with all the sensitivity of her mother – “We were fighting a war; we won, you lost,” and reminded them that it was their country that invaded the islands, thus initiating the conflict. The interview ended with one of the women claiming that “God will punish her (Margaret Thatcher)”.

And diplomatic as ever, in 2009 she got the heave-ho from the BBC for making racist comments about a black tennis player.

Still, even with the insensitivity and casual racism, she’s like Snow White compared to her slimy sibling Mark.

During the mid- to late 1980s concerns were frequently expressed in relation to his business affairs. In 1984 his mother faced questions in the House of Commons in relation to his involvement in representing a British company Cementation, a subsidiary of Trafalgar House to build a university in Oman at a time when the prime minister was urging Omanis to buy British.

He has denied claims made that in 1985 he received millions of pounds in commission in relation to the £45 billion Al-Yamamah arms deal, a controversial arms sale by BAE to Saudi Arabia which was possibly the largest arms sale ever; he has not disputed that a house in Belgravia , London was purchased for him for £1 million in 1987 by an offshore company controlled by Wafic Said, a middleman in the deal.

In 1986 his mother faced questions in the House of Commons again over her son’s relationship with the Sultan of Brunei. The government’s PR advisers suggested that it would be best if he left the country !

So he was banished to Texas, and later spent time in Switzerland as a tax exile until he was forced to leave when the Swiss authorities started to question his residency qualifications.

Back in the USA in 1996 he was prosecuted for tax evasion, at which point he moved to South Africa.

In 1998 South African authorities investigated a company owned by Thatcher for allegedly running loan shark operations. According to the Star of Johannesburg’, the company had offered unofficial small loans to hundreds of police officers, military personnel and civil servants and then pursued them with debt collectors.

In 2003, following the death of his father he assumed the title of ‘Sir’ due to his Thatcher Baronetcy , a year before he was arrested in South Africa in connection with the 2004 Equatorial Guinea coup d’état attempt to which he pleaded guilty of breaking anti-mercenary legislation in January 2005. At this time the Sunday Times suggested that he had personal assets of £60 million, most of which was in offshore accounts.

He moved to Monaco on a temporary residency permit.His Monaco residency was not renewed as he was said to be on a list of ‘undesirables’ who would not be allowed further residency and he was required to leave by mid-2006.

He was refused a entry visa to the USA due to his conviction in South Africa.

He was refused residency in Switzerland and settled in Gibraltar where he married his second wife in 2008. In 2013 he was reported to spend most of his time in Marbella.  Arguably, anyone else with a comparable record would spend most of his time in prison.

I do hope someone at the Tax authorities is checking up to see how much UK tax he has avoided over the years.

My god, what a dysfunctional family !

Leave a comment

Filed under Thatcher Dead

Almanac – March 07

1274 – Saint Thomas Aquinas died. He was the foremost classical proponent of natural theology, his influence on Western thought is considerable, and much of modern philosophy was conceived in development or refutation of his ideas, particularly in the areas of ethics, natural law, metaphysics, and political theory.

He is held in the Roman Catholic Church to be the model teacher for those studying for the priesthood, and indeed the highest expression of both natural reason and speculative theology.

.

.

1671 – Rob Roy MacGregor born.  Scottish folk hero and outlaw of the early 18th century, sometimes known as the Scottish Robin Hood. Rob Roy is anglicised from the Gaelic Raibeart Ruadh, or Red Robert – he had red hair.

.

.

1942 – Lucy Parsons died.  American labor organizer and radical socialist and anarchist communist, described by the Chicago Police Department as “more dangerous than a thousand rioters”  (in 2004, the City of Chicago named a park after her.)

Born circa 1853 in Texas, probably as a slave, to parents of Native American, African American and Mexican ancestry, in 1871 she married Albert Parsons, a former Confederate soldier. They were forced to flee north from Texas due to intolerant reactions to their interracial marriage, and settled in Chicago, Illinois.

She died in a house fire in Chicago, believed to be 89 years old.   Her lover, George Markstall, died the next day from injuries he received while trying to save her.  After her death, police seized her library of over 1,500 books and all of her personal papers.

.

.

1988 – Divine died. American actor, disco singer and drag queen. A character actor who often performed female roles in both cinema and theater, Divine adopted a female drag persona in his musical performances, leading People magazine to describe him as the “Drag Queen of the Century”.

Often associated with independent filmmaker John Waters, he starred in ten of his films, usually in a lead role.

.

.

A&A forum banner

Leave a comment

Filed under Almanac

Almanac – November 22

1718 – Off the coast of North Carolina, British pirate Edward Teach (best known as “Blackbeard“) was killed in battle with a boarding party led by Royal Navy Lieutenant Robert Maynard.

A shrewd and calculating leader, Teach spurned the use of force, relying instead on his fearsome image to elicit the response he desired from those he robbed. Contrary to the modern-day picture of the traditional tyrannical pirate, he commanded his vessels with the permission of their crews and there is no known account of his ever having harmed or murdered those he held captive.

.

.

1869 – In Dumbarton, Scotland, the clipper Cutty Sark was launched – one of the last clippers ever built, and the only one still surviving today.

.

.

1946 – Aston  ‘Family Man’  Barrett born. Jamaican bass player and Rastafarian.  Played with Bob Marley and The Wailers, The Hippy Boys, and  The Upsetters. It has been stated that he  was the ‘leader’ of the backing band and responsible for many, if not all bass lines on Bob Marley’s greatest hits, as well as having been active in co-producing Marley’s albums and responsible for most overall song arrangements. He was also  the mentor of Robbie Shakespeare of the duo Sly & Robbie, and is considered one of the elder statesmen of reggae bass guitar playing.

.

.

1963 – In Dallas, Texas, US President John F. Kennedy was assassinated and Texas Governor John B. Connally  seriously wounded. Suspect Lee Harvey Oswald is later captured and charged with the murder of both the President and police officer J. D. Tippit.

.

.

1963 – Aldous Huxley died. English writer best known for his novels including Brave New World.  A humanist, pacifist, and satirist,  he was latterly interested in spiritual subjects such as parapsychology and philosophical mysticism. He is also well known for advocating and taking psychedelics.

.

.

1963 – C. S. Lewis died. Irish novelist, poet, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian, and Christian apologist.  He is known for both his fictional work, especially The Screwtape Letters, and  The Chronicles of Narnia,  and his non-fiction, such as Mere Christianity, Miracles, and The Problem of Pain.

.

.

Leave a comment

Filed under Almanac

Almanac – November 02

1930 – Haile Selassie was crowned emperor of Ethiopia.  He was the heir to a dynasty that traced its origins to the 13th century, and from there by tradition back to King Solomon and Queen Makeda, Empress of Axum, known in the Abrahamic tradition as the Queen of Sheba. Haile Selassie is a defining figure in both Ethiopian and African history.
Among the Rastafari movement, Haile Selassie is revered as the returned messiah of the Bible, God incarnate, perceiving  Haile  as a messianic figure who will lead a future golden age of eternal peace, righteousness, and prosperity. Haile Selassie was an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian throughout his life.

.

.

1950 – George Bernard Shaw died.  Irish playwright and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. Although his first profitable writing was music and literary criticism, in which capacity he wrote many highly articulate pieces of journalism, his main talent was for drama, and he wrote more than 60 plays. He was also an essayist, novelist and short story writer. Nearly all his writings address prevailing social problems, but have a vein of comedy which makes their stark themes more palatable. Issues which engaged Shaw’s attention included education, marriage, religion, government, health care, and class privilege.

He died , aged 94, from chronic problems exacerbated by injuries he incurred by falling from a ladder.

.

.

1957 – The Levelland UFO Case in Levelland, Texas.  The case is considered to be one of the most impressive in UFO history, mainly because of the large number of witnesses involved over a relatively short period of time.

.

.

1960 – Penguin Books is found not guilty of obscenity in the trial R v Penguin Books Ltd., the Lady Chatterley’s Lover case.
R v Penguin Books Ltd was the public prosecution at the Old Bailey of Penguin Books under the Obscene Publications Act 1959 for the publication of D. H. Lawrence‘s  Lady Chatterley’s Lover. The trial was a test case of the defense of public good provision under section 4 of the Act which was defined as a work “in the interests of science, literature, art or learning, or of other objects of general concern”.
The jury found for the defendant in a result that ushered in the liberalisation of publishing, and which some saw as the beginning of the permissive society in Britain.

.

1965 – Norman Morrison, a 31-year-old Quaker, set himself on fire in front of the river entrance to the Pentagon to protest the use of napalm in the Vietnam war.

.

.

1 Comment

Filed under Almanac