Admiral Stark (centre) and the Merkulov Brothers - Vladivostok (1922)
Both Admiral Stark and the Merkulovs were key individuals within the White movement. After the death of Alexander Kolchak (the original leader of the Whites) in 1920, the decimated remnants of his army still held areas within the Russian Far East. In the spring of 1921 they established what became known as the Provisional Government of the Priamur, in a last-ditch attempt to stop the Bolsheviks and the rise of communism in Russia.
This fledgling state was headed by the wealthy Merkulov brothers who, somewhat reluctantly, provided the funds for the continuation of the war effort. In July 1922, a Zemsky sobor was hastily convened in the territory. This sobor called all Russian people to repent for the overthrow of the Tsar and proclaimed a new Tsar, Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolayevich Romanov. Patriarch Tikhon was named as the honorary chairman of the sobor, though neither him nor the Grand Duke were present at the time.
At the end of 1922, when the allied armies withdrew from Russia, the Soviet army of the Far Eastern Republic retook the territory with ease. The Civil War was officially declared over and all hopes for a Romanov restoration perished. The remaining White Army officers, members of their families and recovered gold from the pillaged reserves were safely transported to China, and later to France by the distinguished Admiral Stark. Once ashore, he used the recovered gold to pay his officers and thanked them for their service to the Empire.
Admiral George Karlovich Stark spent the remainder of his life in Paris, living in near poverty and working as a chauffeur - he died in 1950. The fate of the Merkulov brothers is unknown.
So I just watched “Russian Ark”
Good gods, this is a beautiful visual experience. It’s not necessarily the most entertaining movie, because it’s not really telling a story. it’s a tour through the Hermitage museum in St. Petersburg, with a tour through periods of Russian history set there.
I read that this is all one long uncut shot from beginning to end, requiring elaborate and well-rehearsed choreography. Because the filmmakers were only allowed to have one day of shooting at the museum itself, they had to practice in studios and then get it right on that one day. It took three tries, and required perfect timing and choreography from beginning to end of an 87 minute reel.
"In memory of the Swiss who died for the Spanish Republicans 1936 - 1939"
I love plaques.
The Spanish Civil War was rather special for the huge amounts of international volunteers from other countries who saw the war as one of ideology.
That in 1968, the NRA supported gun control; that in 1972 the GOP platform supported gun control, but in ‘76, opposed it based on a Ronald Reagan taking a different position that President Gerald Ford. From Jeffrey Toobin’s “The Oath:”
Reagan worked opposition to gun control into a broader libertarian message. To him, gun control was just another big-government program that did more harm than good. Gun control punished law-abiding citizens while leaving firearms in the hands of criminals. What was more, Reagan hinted, gun control was prohibited by the Second Amendment. “The Second Amendment gives the individual citizen a means of protection against the despotism of the state. The rights of the individual are preeminent,” Reagan wrote in Guns & Ammo magazine in 1975. “The Seconed Amendment is clear, or ought to be. It appears to leave little if any leeway for the gun control advocate.” (page 102)
The political and legal branches of the conservative movement joined forces in support of a new reading of the Second Amendment. On May 21, 1977, a hard-line faction of the National Rifle Association staged a coup d’etat at the annual meeting of the group, in Cincinnati. Out went the traditional emphasis on gun safety and in came a new focus on political action, especially in fighting gun control. (Page 103).
Nevertheless, gun rights joined “family values” and the anti-abortion fight as key planks of the conservative agenda that in 1980 propelled Reagan into the presidency and the Republicans into the Senate majority. (page 103)
When I read something like this, I think “A politician and his followers changed the purpose of an organization. Could we change it back?”
|—||Henry V (via shakespearean-insults)|
Today is the day my little village commemorates its place in history.
On this day in 1315 the first Swiss cantons won their independence for the first time.
If it turns out I don’t have to help my dad move today I’ll stop by the festivities and post more about it.
[W]ith the advent of the railroad and telegraph, Congress decided it was time to standardize a date. Monday was out, because it would require people to travel to the polls by buggy on the Sunday Sabbath. Wednesday was also not an option, because it was market day, and farmers wouldn’t be able to make it to the polls. So it was decided that Tuesday would be the day that Americans would vote in elections, and in 1845, Congress passed a law that presidential elections would be held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November
Non-Americans might probably wonder as well why American holidays also aren’t held consistently on dates, but instead on days.
Thanksgiving, for example, is the third Thursday of November.
Sometimes it’s hard to conceive of the older United States before the Civil War, which was much less federal than it is now. Each state had its own different rules and laws, and in this case they didn’t always agree upon the same calendar. So to find days which worked for everyone for federal occasions, this system was born.
This day in history:
Amid protests across Soviet-dominated Hungary, violence erupts, sparking the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.
Soon after the revolution began the Soviet Union planned to give in to demands and withdraw forces from the country. However they quickly changed plans and sent in a large military force to quash the rebellion and regain control.
Revolutionaries made quick and large gains up to the end of October, but stood no chance against the superior Soviet military. The rebellion eventually ended on November 10, two and a half weeks after it began.
Despite calls for help to western countries (especially the USA), the revolutionaries received no support during the conflict, and Hungary was dominated by Soviet oppression until 1989.
October 23, 1956 - 56 years ago today
This is interesting:
The United States is not exactly famed for its pacifism or political neutrality.
Because that’s exactly what Hitler thought. Which is why he declared war on them, which was entirely optional and pretty much sealed his fate. He figured that they were too lost in their ’20s debauchery, turned off by their brief experience in World War 1, that they wouldn’t make “real soldiers.”
Well, you know how Hitler was. Very much the kind of person to assume racial characteristics to nations.
It’s true that the US was hardly neutral, but that was mostly due to the effort from FDR. Americans were really only jolted awake into war by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
The wars that the US was getting into before that were mostly imperial ones: the boxer rebellion, the Spanish-American war, the guerrilla fighting in the Philippines. Can we excuse Hitler for thinking he could get away with it?
Nah, probably not. There were enough reasons to think that war with America would be a terrible idea, but both he and the majority of the Japanese military seemed to both share the idea that America was a country of layabouts who liked movies and fast cars too much to get down to serious war.
And it’s kind of amazing that they went against the empirical evidence and just went for the “Well, you know how Americans are” stereotype to make this decision.
I was talking with the Chinese guy who’s in all my electives. I was telling him about Hong Kong, and how sometimes HK people liked being part of China and sometimes actively reasserted their distance. This is typical opportunistic thinking.
He asked me an interesting question: What does Vietnam think about Tibet?
I didn’t know the official answer, but I told him what was practically certain: only the West cares about “free Tibet.” Not least because a lot of Asian countries are still developing countries and have their own problems. And also, in any case, more authoritarian countries have their own skeletons in their own closets.
In the US and in Western Europe, you probably can’t go to a Chinese Embassy without seeing a Free Tibet picket or protest at some point. This is not the case anywhere else I’ve been.
After this, he told me that he’d read up on the Tibet situation somewhat, and that there was some information people didn’t seem to know. This was that there were apparently old sources, from the Republic of China/Chiang Kai Shek days, that they intentionally chose the Tibetan Dalai Lama, and that the Tibetans had let them.
This is sort of in reference to the current dispute in Tibet. The idea is that the DL is reincarnated every generation. The PRC chose and claimed they found the last one, the monks chose someone different, who is the one in exile. It’s a crisis of legitimacy. And my friend was saying that the Dalai Lama is not an actually holy figure, since he was originally chosen by the previous Chinese government (that the Communists overthrew).
And this is the kind of minefield I kind of like to try and avoid, when it comes to talking politics with people from countries whose governments have an interest in not being truthful.
Now, I’m not going to assume that this source is wrong. It might be right. The PRC might well have excellent access to Tibetan records, who knows?
But it is incredibly suspicious when the official source both delegitimizes the Dalai Lama, AND places the blame on their historical enemy, Chiang Kai Shek. It is just very convenient, which probably means it needs more objective study.
Like I said, it might even be true. But you need to make sure.
Hi, John Green here from the distant future, I know these maybe look weird but they help me to see better.
The plague? Is spread by rats you should try to kill them. Also the plague itself is like a little miniature animal that gets inside your body and it pwns you. I know this sounds crazy but if you eat the right amount of the fungus pennicilium you can kill the plague inside of you.
Generally to prevent the spread of these invisible monsters, you wanna wash your hands and body a lot with water and soap. And also, leeches? Don’t work.
Subject: Science! The Earth is round, the Sun is at the center of the solar system, and the speed of light is invariant. The moon is not made of cheese, it’s made of rock. It turns out the question of how many angels you can fit on the head of a pin isn’t very interesting, and if you put a cat inside of a box with poison and you close the box, the cat is both alive and dead until such a time as you open the box.
Next: the future course of history! If you don’t live in Europe, or indeed if you don’t know what the word “Europe” means, you’re about to be in big trouble. Listen carefully, peoples of non-Europe. If you see a dude who looks like me, KILL HIM.
DFTBA, people of the 14th century.
|—||John Green, in a message to the Fourteenth Century, in 60 seconds.|