A while ago I wrote about a 1917 saddle bag with bogus British battle plans that “fell” off a horse near the Turkish front lines. It was deception, which had a decisive influence.
Despite similarity, we’re led to believe that it did not inspire missions that had a huge impact in WWII. Instead, WWII missions are said to have been inspired by real life instead of an earlier deception operation.
On September 25, 1942 a British plane crashed on the coast of Spain. There were no survivors; one fatality in particular that worried Allied commanders was a courier who carried sensitive documents about invasion plans for North Africa, called Operation Torch.
Allegedly those documents didn’t leak yet it was this incident that inspired Allied intelligence to attempt an intentional leak.
They set about staging a series of ruses and incidents (Operation Barclay) designed to get the Germans to take fake documents that would disorient them during coming southern Europe invasion plans for the summer of 1943 called Operation Husky.
Therefore on this day — April 19th — in 1943 the HMS Seraph submarine set sail for the coast of Spain to release a long-dead corpse of a London homeless man (preserved in a steel canister of dry ice, after starvation had led him to eat rat bait). He was dressed as a British major and “pushed” out to sea.
Like the WWI saddle bag ploy, this decoy carried fake papers (including love letters, bank statements and receipts) as well as a briefcase filled with maps of Greece. I’ve found no evidence of poetry.
Because Nazis were so embedded and influential within Spain’s fascist government, especially in small southwestern cities like Huelva near Morocco, they were easily pulled into fake papers on a British corpse.
A fisherman dragged the body to Spanish authorities, a German spy quickly was summoned and was so excited he ran straight to Berlin.
Mincemeat swallowed rod, line and sinker.
The Allies then saw far fewer German resources during invasion of Sicily, moving more quickly and with fewer losses than anticipated, while the duped Nazis sat ready for action in Greece. Hitler even pulled troops off actual battles further weakening them just to sit and wait in the wrong spot. With Rommel easily routed by November 1942, the simple decoy operation sent Nazi command into disarray. Axis forces began to rapidly collapse such that Italy was invaded in July and quickly defeated by September 1943.
A new article on the history of American racism towards its black veterans points out it goes back to the Civil War:
Thousands of Black men who served in the Civil War, World War I, and World War II were targeted because of their service and threatened, assaulted or lynched, according to a 2017 Equal Justice Initiative report.
It’s a good article to read in order to have better context around the attempted lynching by Virgina police, which has been in the news a lot lately.
I would just add that this article leaves some pretty big gaps in history that shouldn’t be hard to close. For example:
Black veterans of Spanish-American war were decorated at particularly important time period. This really frames Woodrow Wilson’s racism that motivated his run for President (In 1881 Wilson said the South’s suppression of black voters was not because of skin but because their minds were dark. In 1902 Wilson said the South was the victim of Civil War). He in effect restarted the KKK from the White House, which is why lynchings and massacres targeting the veterans of WWI after his Presidency were so high.
These American heroes ran directly into American racism. Instead of celebration and expansion, the backlash of resentment from white insecurity grew against these blacks who ventured to demonstrate their value and capabilities — success in America meant risk of being punished and relegated to lesser roles. ‘Shortly after the end of the Spanish-American War a decline began in the status of Black serviceman.’
Black women faced even more discrimination than men, and often were denied entry into service despite being overqualified.
Bessie Coleman was the first American to have an International Pilot’s license. Racism in America actively prevented a black and Native American woman to learn how to fly, so she took night school to learn French, went to France and quickly became a pilot there. “…her brothers served in the military during World War I and came home with stories from their time in France. Her brother John teased her because French women were allowed to learn how to fly airplanes and Bessie could not…”
There are so many individual examples of black servicemen being silently killed by white police in America, like the 1960 murder of Marvin Williams, that it becomes almost impossible for people who aren’t aware of the magnitude of it all to understand where and how to look at systemic racism in America. In other words, ask who has been allocated the dedicated time and resources to drive justice in every individual case like Marvin Williams let alone in a “storm” (what white insecurity forces call themselves) perpetrating widespread domestic massacres of black American military veterans.
The side-walks were literally covered with burning turpentine balls. I knew all too well where they came from, and I knew all too well why every burning building first caught from the top… ‘Where oh where is our splendid fire department with its half dozen stations?’ I asked myself. ‘Is the city in conspiracy with the mob?’
Slaves were forced to fight for US independence from Britain at a time when Britain was ending slavery. Men like the alleged mass rapist who hunted humans for sport, known as “Swamp Fox” by the British, in fact kept records boasting of putting their slave into action to do the actual fighting on their behalf. Just to be clear, Americans perpetuated slavery by using slaves to fight for independence from “tyranny”. It’s worth debating whether America losing its war for independence might have made life in America safer for black veterans and emancipated them by the 1830s.
In December 2006, two centuries after his death, Marion made news again when President George W. Bush signed a proclamation honoring the man described in most biographies as the “faithful servant, Oscar,” Marion’s personal slave. Bush expressed the thanks of a “grateful nation” for Oscar Marion’s “service…in the Armed Forces of the United States.”
To the last point above, in the 1815 Battle of New Orleans freemen (black soldiers) played a decisive role. 50% of Jackson’s force from Louisiana was non-white despite “free blacks” being just 10% of the population. Although these black men served with distinction and achieved victory, Jackson quickly double-crossed them and stole their valor, rights and even took their guns away.
…while Spanish/French colonial-era slave codes had granted complete rights and equality to a “free man of color” (allowed to be educated, serve in military, own land, business, and even slaves) it was only the March 4, 1812 Louisiana Constitution that removed the right to vote from 2/3 of the people living there. That was long before Jackson would fight a vicious political campaign at the federal level to do them even more harm.
Hope that helps add even more detail to this ongoing tragedy of American history — how it treats its own military when they are black.
Recently I wrote about a country song of encoded KKK/Nazi signals, called “The Big Revival“.
It got me thinking about whether a map might show how a KKK revival happened as a result of Woodrow Wilson’s “America First” campaign platform in 1915.
And then I found someone at Virginia Commonwealth University already had gone to the trouble of building an interactive map of “contagion”.
Again, I have to emphasize an explosion of terrorism (e.g. lynchings and massacres) was linked directly to an extremely racist “America First” platform and the President who did nothing to condemn any of it.
In a 1881 article that went unpublished, Wilson defended the South’s suppression of black voters, saying that they were being denied the vote not because their skin was dark but because their minds were dark (yes, really).
Wilson’s racism wasn’t the matter of a few unfortunate remarks here or there. It was a core part of his political identity, as indicated both by his anti-black policies as president and by his writings before taking office. It is completely accurate to describe him as a racist and white supremacist and condemn him accordingly.
“The full story” of American history is one of racial inequality and genocide, where white supremacist terrorism and violence is the foundation of “America First”:
It is quite sad how someone can gleefully erase people to highlight himself. Anyone believe a claim by Steve Jobs in 2001 that there was no personal computer in 1975?
Being literate in history should require knowing that by 1974 personal computers already were on the cover of popular magazines.
It also is useful to know that the first Xerox Alto personal computer (from Palo Alto, where Woz worked and took many of his ideas to start Apple) had been operational in 1972 and introduced on 1 March 1973. Note the high resolution bitmapped graphical display and the mouse.
What really seems to be obscured in that 2001 Steve Jobs interview, and why 1975 matters so much as a particular time, is Bill Mensch was able to create a layout completely by hand from the 6501 schematics and produce an inexpensive working CPU on his first try.
It begins at Motorola, where Chuck Peddle, Bill Mensch and several others were employed in the early 1970’s design the MC6800 processor and its peripherals. The 6800 was not a bad design, it was however, very expensive, a development board for it costing over $300. Chuck worked largely as the 6800 system architect, ensuring all the ICs worked well together and were what was needed to meet customers needs. He attended many calls to potential clients and noted that many were turned off by one thing, price. With that in mind he sought out to build a lower cost version of the 6800 using some of the newer processes available (specifically depletion mode NMOS vs the enhancement mode of the 6800). Motorola management wouldn’t hear it, they wanted nothing to do with a lower cost processor available to the masses. And with that, Chuck, Bill and over half the 6800 team left.
They ended up at MOS Technologies, which at the time was owned in large part by Allen/Bradley. It was there, at MOS under the direction of Chuck Peddle that the 6501/2 was borne.
THAT chip moment changed everything for the personal computer market (15% of the cost of an Intel 8080), which already existed. (Apple used the 6502 at the same time as Commodore. Who? Commodore, who in fact purchased MOS to save it and put in their own line of personal computers, although you’ll never hear Jobs mention either).
Chuck Peddle designed the KIM-1 personal computer while at MOS in 1975, and released it April 1976 as advertised by BYTE magazine.
Peddle also had developed a personal electronic transactor (PET) concept for a personal computer and in January 1977 displayed it at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Chicago.
Note this personal computer at the January CES trade show was months before Apple II (June 1977) or Radio Shack TRS80 (August 1977).
Steve Jobs in 2001 was quite literally erasing history by claiming there were no personal computers in 1975. First, the KIM-1 was designed by the same people who created the 6802 that Jobs was using. And second, CES had a personal computer on display from the same people who created the 6802 six months before both Apple and Radio Shack produced their competing products.
Jobs is saying “we had to create something where nothing existed” when he was doing the exact opposite: reacting to others creating things and promoting only himself unfairly as original.
Peddle had in fact had pitched his PET to Radio Shack hoping to have them retail it in stores (like Apple stores today). Radio Shack refused and it was soon afterwards, in the summer of 1977, that Commodore’s founder Jack Tramiel bought MOS Technologies — staff, patents, and production facilities.
And this is how the January 1977 PET personal computer moved into production. The Commodore acquisition (not to mention lawsuits from Motorola for the 6801, as well as a series of upgrades to memory, keyboard, and screens) led to delays of widespread availability until late in 1977.
(3h:48m:30s) The idea that Apple invented the personal computer, they literally were following us around. The Mac was a rip-off from [Xerox] Parc… With all due respect I don’t know what new things they’ve done. […] Everything was demonstrable in 1973. […] Star [in 1981, based on the 1972 Alto] was a great product it had all those things in it. Xerox deserves the credit.
(3h:51m:10s) Apple II by the way was getting its butt kicked by Radio Shack in the US and Europe, by us in Europe, until VisiCalc was on it. VisiCalc is what pulled them in… the first piece of software that was unique to the PC. Those guys at VisiCalc deserve the credit [for Apple’s success]. […]
I just want to be sure I give credit…
Peddle delivered a chip that made the inexpensive personal computer possible and then followed it by creating the worlds first “real” consumer-ready personal computer. And he even delivered the idea of the personal computer being sold in retail computer stores. Xerox had delivered the graphical screen and the mouse concepts years earlier on their Alto.
Apple definitely saved a lot of time by shamelessly taking other peoples’ ideas, as anyone can plainly see. The question remains whether Jobs intended to make more money by not crediting many of the people who had saved him so much time.
New book from Robert D. Putnam called “The Upswing” attempts to explain why American democracy won’t work if individualism is over-emphasized like southern Italy versus northern Italy:
The Upswing builds on the author’s celebrated concept of “social capital”: the web of non-contractual associational relationships that constitutes a community.
The idea acquires normative force through that word capital – the claim that social relationships are in aggregate not merely enjoyable but productive. In particular, they are able to generate and enforce common purposes.
Putnam initially used the concept to explain the divergence between a now- prosperous northern Italy and a now-dysfunctional southern one. With originality and courage, he traced northern success back to the eleventh century, when the north’s cities began fostering webs of mutually trustworthy relationships.
These developed through citizens’ participation in devolved associations, both political and social – emblematically, in choirs. In contrast, the South was invaded by Norman gangs who imposed feudalism, their hierarchical suppression of independent association helping to establish an autocratic state juxtaposed against suspicious individuals.
Putnam then made a radical inference: since the political institutions of Italy’s regions had been common for over a century, yet had led to wide differences in outcomes, institutions were not enough: democracy only succeeded if preceded by social capacity. He had the chutzpah to entitle his study Making Democracy Work (1993).
I stumbled across a 1970 clipping from Nixon’s administration where they claimed “urban renewal” (widely recognized today as intentionally racist and destructive to American cities) would do the exact opposite of what we know they designed it to accomplish.
The President’s study group on urban renewal has recommended that the controversial Federal program be continued and used as a major means of halting the “balkanization and polarization of American society.”
The panel, appointed by President Nixon last Oct. 17, said that urban renewal should be used to “help exorcise the specter of increasing apartheid” by building within the central cities communities that would bring together people of various ethnic and income groups.
Those opposed to redevelopment had little recourse in a pre-Civil Rights era; the neighborhood had scant political clout, and most residents were tenants, not homeowners.
The residents of the heavily African-American neighborhood had also, by no accident, been precluded from getting home loans that would have helped them buy their own homes. (Meanwhile, racist homeowner groups in booming nearby suburbs like Palo Alto were also working hard to ensure that “white flight” from the city stayed white.)
“You have to read into the idea that these absolutely beautiful Victorian buildings were also blighted because they were populated by black people,” said [long time SF resident] Collins. “It’s amazing to me when you look back at the amount of housing that was removed.”
The number of African-Americans displaced from the Western Addition as a result of urban renewal is unknown, but estimates start at 10,000 people. Less quantifiable is the cultural aftermath; a once-thriving district studded with minority-owned businesses, nightclubs and hotels in the heart of San Francisco now exists mostly in faded photos and oral histories.
Incredible to see how the Nixon administration falsely projected the terms balkanization and polarization onto their targets, especially when you think about who pushes that exact terminology today when talking about the Internet.
A nicely written summary of the attack on Fort Sumter can be found on the Smithsonian’s page called “The Civil War Begins”
In December 1860, a little more than a month after Lincoln’s election, South Carolina’s secession convention, held in Charleston, called on the South to join “a great Slaveholding Confederacy, stretching its arms over a territory larger than any power in Europe possesses.” […] According to historian Douglas R. Egerton, author of Year of Meteors: Stephen Douglas, Abraham Lincoln, and the Election that Brought on the Civil War, “To win over the yeoman farmers—who would wind up doing nearly all the fighting—the Fire-eaters relentlessly played on race, warning them that, unless they supported secession, within ten years or less their children would be the slaves of Negroes.” […] Militiamen itching for a fight flooded into Charleston from the surrounding countryside. There would soon be more than 3,000 of them facing Fort Sumter, commanded by the preening and punctilious Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard, who had resigned his position as West Point’s superintendent to offer his services to the Confederacy.
This explanation of the war-mongering blood-thirsty slaveholders contrasts heavily with the description of calm and professional soldiers finding themselves surrounded by hostile enemies of America.
With communications from his superiors reaching him only sporadically, Anderson was entrusted with heavy responsibilities. Although Kentucky born and bred, his loyalty to the Union was unshakeable. In the months to come, his second-in-command, Capt. Abner Doubleday—a New York abolitionist, and the man who was long credited, incorrectly, with inventing baseball—would express frustration at Anderson’s “inaction.” “I have no doubt he thought he was rendering a real service to the country,” Doubleday later wrote. “He knew the first shot fired by us would light the flames of a civil war that would convulse the world, and tried to put off the evil day as long as possible. Yet a better analysis of the situation might have taught him that the contest had already commenced and could no longer be avoided.” But Anderson was a good choice for the role that befell him. “He was both a seasoned soldier and a diplomat,” says Hatcher. “He would do just about anything he could to avoid war. He showed tremendous restraint.”
After some negotiation and brinkmanship, the Confederates fail patience and begin the Civil War with America.
In the early hours of April 12, approximately nine hours after the Confederates had first asked Anderson to evacuate Fort Sumter, the envoys were again rowed [by their slaves] out to the garrison. They made an offer: if Anderson would state when he and his men intended to quit the fort, the Confederates would hold their fire. Anderson called a council of his officers: How long could they hold out? Five days at most, he was told, which meant three days with virtually no food. Although the men had managed to mount about 45 cannon, in addition to the original 15, not all of those could be trained on Confederate positions. Even so, every man at the table voted to reject immediate surrender to the Confederates.
The pride of these Americans surrounded and heavily outnumbered and outgunned, refusing to surrender, enraged the Confederates who responded by announcing they soon would begin war. Aiming for the American flag they managed to knock it down only to find it would be raised again, as the Americans defended their country valiantly for days.
Update April 13 (one day later!): LinkedIn has investigated and restored my post! Many thanks to the various teams working together to resolve this. They have explained a cascade of issues that caused the deletions and have been working on fixing things. I will share more details as soon as authorized.
One of my most popular posts on LinkedIn was about the logical fallacies, as well as some history, of Virginia Police. LinkedIn gave me an award for it…
Then the post was deleted, as well as all my comments on other posts about the Virginia Police. I had at least a dozen comments on this thread, for example.
All of my words gone without any notice or explanation.
My first sign someone was censoring me was traffic drop across posts, any post really. Flow suddenly went from thousands to just a few.
On a normal day I will see a post hit a couple thousand views. Suddenly, my posts had 10 views, or 7 views.
It’s a sure sign LinkedIn has a human poking around in your profile and timeline, reviewing posts, when traffic drops dramatically without any reason or notice. 7 views? I knew something was wrong.
My second sign was that I was given an award by LinkedIn and when I went to look at the post they awarded it was… deleted.
How nice of LinkedIn to notify me to go take a look at my post that nobody can look at because they erased it, while giving me a medal for the thing they destroyed.
I wasn’t saying anything shocking, mind you, just pointing out the basic logical fallacies.
And now here was my LinkedIn post in its entirety:
police can’t logically complain both windows are too dark and that the car was evading them to park in the most well-lit area. this is double-speak.
“ride the lightning” is not just police reference to execution by electric chair, it’s KKK term for lynching. it comes from 1915 claims president wilson called KKK “lightning” — more lynchings occurred under wilson in 1915 than in the previous decade.
police falsely try to excuse their violence on their target being reluctant to exit vehicle, while telling their target he should be afraid to get out. this is double-speak.
That’s it. And LinkedIn deleted that.
The police in this “traffic stop” clearly were speaking the language and using the basic procedures of a lynching.
No matter what their target said or did, he was judged wrong by them in order to intentionally escalate the situation into killing him.
The fact he survived is perhaps due to his professional military training that kept him calm and compliant in very logical fashion. It was clear to me (and others) he kept his hands out of the window even when he was told to reach inside and unbuckle, because to reach inside to the hip could mean he would be shot instantly on suspicion of having a weapon.
I’m not saying service members should get special treatment from law enforcement but usually there is a level of mutual respect and that clearly wasn’t the case here. I saw a soldier who despite being pepper sprayed had the sense of awareness to keep his hands up despite everything else. He didn’t want to reach down for anything.
Usually we have to assume it is only the police who are being trained and paid to know how to deescalate a situation. Here you can see how the police flagrantly escalate instead, violating simple principles. It is clear the target of police was in fact the one acting far more professionally (also having been trained and paid to remain calm and deescalate).
Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael Grinston tweeted this:
He represented himself and our Army well through his calm, professional response to the situation – I’m very proud of him.
Agreed. Pepper sprayed in the face, violently hit from behind, the whole time keeping his calm and professional stance against these coordinated attackers using terror and incitement tactics.
Also I have to point out that a LinkedIn profile, which claims to be a US Army veteran from Colorado Springs (I’ll hide his identity here), was quickly spreading comments everywhere to discredit the victim of Virginia police.
The themes of this profile all were classic KKK talking points.
First, he used the false argument George Floyd committed suicide. The absurd theory is that police didn’t kill Floyd, he is the one who put himself into a situation that killed himself from police negligence. It’s clearly false but the KKK will try to argue black people are somehow not healthy enough to survive police abuse.
Second, he used the false argument that lawsuits are lucrative and bring payouts, thus black men are getting themselves lynched because they are greedy. Again it’s clearly false but the KKK will try to jump from saying black people won a case of injustice to therefore police and taxpayers are being harmed by having to pay damages when black people die.
Again these first two are the classic talking points of the KKK. They are parroting a simple fraud that blacks deserve to die at the hands of police officers no matter what because of being black, while substituting some other word and state of being for the word black.
Third, this US Army veteran kept saying that there was scant evidence and too little information to rush to judgment on the police actions yet he firmly believed the target of police was fully in the wrong and needed to be immediately kicked out of the military. He even slipped as used the phrase “I hope they are not attempting to hang the success of their case” in his comments.
All of these fraudulent talking points historically are used in the language of a lynching, which is why the police saying “ride the lightning” is particularly important reference.
Nothing about this “traffic stop” justified such gross excessive violence, and to even trained law enforcement it comes across as bizarrely unnecessary and strange escalation.
We have to shift frame to history, especially history of Virginia, and think instead of an attempted lynching. Then all of the steps fit right into place.
The Town of Windsor prides itself in its small-town charm and the community-wide respect of its Police Department.
This town says it prides itself in respect of its Police Department? That’s their big public reaction? Wait, there’s more.
The Town of Windsor prides itself in its small-town charm and the community-wide respect of its Police Department. Due to this, we are saddened for events like this to cast our community in a negative light.
They are sad that their community is cast in a negative light.
Let’s review. An American is pepper-sprayed and beaten at gunpoint for committing no crimes other than a Jim Crow-era dog whistle crime of needing to show police “respect”. Then the town reacts to video saying yeah we are proud of people who respect the police. And they’re sad that people see attempting lynchings in a “negative light”. Think of the positives!
This was an attempted lynching and it was very clear police were escalating violence to force a black man show them “respect” or be killed by the “lightning”.
I mean a town that publishes an official “prides itself” and “respect of police” letter in reaction to an attempting lynching, really doesn’t bode well for any kind of meaningful justice or reform.
Or maybe we can put this another way, once again using their own words and actions as evidence?
In 2002 the Town of Windsor created a new emblem for its centennial. In the 100 years since 1902, this town decided to highlight… wait for it…
The centennial emblem, which was designed in 2002 for the centennial by the then town manager Kurt Falkenstein represents 100 years of Windsor History. […] Men of Windsor Station answered their call to serve the Confederacy, and the Isle of Wight Rifle Grays (symbolized by the crossed rifles) were drilling and registered in 1860. This unit, under command of Captain Watkins, served with Company D 16th Virginia Regiment. The 16th Regiment served in many major battles and was with General Lee at the surrender at Appomattox.
That’s right! To commemorate the time since 1902 the town of Windsor in 2002 added a pair of guns from the 1860 pro-slavery forces to their official emblem.
Maybe in 2022 we can look forward to the Town of Windsor adding another pair of guns to their emblem to celebrate the positive aspects of an attempted lynching? I mean they definitely didn’t think it would cast a negative light to have guns from 1860. We know it won’t show up on LinkedIn though.
Travis Kalanick who saw taxicab drivers not as solid middle class citizens, like many of us mistakenly did, but as a cabal of overpaid, rent-seeking obstacles.
Kalanick himself said he was standing in line in Las Vegas and wondering why he didn’t have an inexpensive driver that would shuttle him from his cheap hotel so he could drink excessively on the strip and at parties he was crashing. His whole fratbro vision was how to recreate his mom driving him everywhere forever. None of that had anything to do with taxis really, which he didn’t think about or understand at all except to complain about waiting for them and compare it to his bowel movements.
And this is false history too:
…skinny nerdy guy who just wanted to sell us books over the computer…
That is not how to describe Bezos who himself said he wanted to corner book markets using unregulated tech because he was losing in a competition with Bernie Madoff to be the worst human.
But perhaps worst of all, the article willingly weaves an Emerson quote into a profile without any context. Thiel quotes Emerson deliberately and for a reason, not as some random thing.
These men are privileged white men who enter tech to maintain and expand their privilege. This has nothing to do with Silicon Valley (Bezos isn’t even in Califorina, duh) and everything to do with history of colonization.
The men of Silicon Valley like to pose as more empathetic, philosophical and righteous than their brothers on Wall Street. But society will no doubt look back on the ascendancy of fratbro tech and see the same arrogance, perversion and disregard for human life.
Is there a difference in suicides and workers conditions at Foxconn and Uber drivers complaining they can’t make a living wage? It’s hard to argue on a human level.
Once we get the history right, such as Stanford’s legacy being genocide, stories like this one become easy to predict:
Verkada isn’t the only Silicon Valley startup in which employees — often young, single and flush with cash — have engaged in questionable behavior, including sexual misconduct and substance abuse. But Verkada sells security cameras that peer into offices, factory floors, intensive care units and other sensitive areas — the kind of product that demands professionalism and discretion.
Based in San Mateo, Verkada was founded in 2016 by three computer science graduates from Stanford University…