17 January 12020 is the Anniversary of Prime Minister Patrice Emery Lumumba’s Assassination in the Congo Democratic Republic. (Lumumba was a bit player in the Congolese independence movement; he was murdered by members of a rival faction in the presence of Belgian officers. People associated with the CIA and MI6 have also claimed credit for the assassination.) It is also allegedly Benjamin Franklin Day, though I can’t find any indication who celebrates it or what body proclaimed it. It celebrates the life and work of the philosopher, scientist, author, and statesman. In Virginia it is Lee-Jackson Day. This celebrates the lives of the American traitors Robert E. Lee and “Stonewall” Jackson.
In criminal news the trial of Donald J. Trump has begun in the U.S. Senate, with many Senators already on record for acquittal without having heard any evidence whatsoever. So much for justice, I guess. Given that the evidence already released shows that Trump is manifestly guilty of the charges against him, it seems that the only thing to be considered is whether the nature of the offense warrants removal from office. Constitutional ignorant people keep referring to impeachment as negating the result of an election; that is either a profound misunderstanding or outright falsification of the process outlined in the Constitution. If Trump were to be removed from office, nothing would be nullified. His vice-president would be sworn in, and life would go on as usual. I don’t know where these idiot notions come from; a lot of people—some of them actually in government positions—are extremely ignorant of how their own government actually works.
Now that Mercury has entered Aquarius we can expect things to settle down a bit; there are no major changes immediately upcoming in the planetary alignments. That’s probably all to the good; we don’t need any further distractions.
On this day in history (1873) a group of insurgent Modocs under Captain Jack, John Schonchin, and Shacknasty Jim held off the Federal army in northern California, much to the surprise of all concerned. They had been assigned to the Klamath Reservation, against their express desires, and preferred to hang on to their old lands in the Lost River country. As this conflicted with the greed of Oregon settlers and the desire of the Department of Indian Affairs to consolidate tribal units a small contingent of soldiers was sent out to herd the Modocs onto Klamath Reservation in November 1872, accompanied by a crowd of local settlers. The soldiers tackled Captain Jack’s village while the settlers took on John Schonchin’s, with disastrous results—the Modoc bands holed up in the lava beds where they were joined by another group under Shacknasty Jim that had attempted to go to the reservation, but were turned back by a mob of drunken settlers. A month or so later, when additional troops had arrived from Portland and San Francisco, a determined assault was made on the insurgents—who repulsed it with virtually no loss of life on their side. It was a rare Native American victory—and it wouldn’t last. By May the insurgents had surrendered, and in October they were sent to Indian Territory, in present-day Oklahoma, except for six of them, who were either hanged or sent to Alcatraz.