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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

This Day in History: 3/8 & repetition in motion

March 8th

On this day in history, US President Millard Fillmore and Joe DiMaggio died (1874 & 1999 respectively), "Monkees" drummer Mickey Dolenz was born (1945), and in 2008, Bush vetoed a bill that would have banned the CIA from using simulated drowning and other coercive interrogation methods to gain information from suspected terrorists.

So overall, not much happened on March 8th in History..

Oh, wait.. there was one small thing.. not a biggie...

March 8th, 1917: In Russia, the February Revolution (known as such because of Russia's use of the Julian calendar) begins when riots and strikes over the scarcity of food erupt in Petrograd (now known as St. Petersburg). One week later, centuries of czarist rule in Russia ended with the abdication of Nicholas II, and Russia took a dramatic step closer toward communist revolution.

Prelude:  By 1917, most Russians had lost faith in the leadership ability of the czarist regime. Government corruption was rampant, the Russian economy remained backward, and Nicholas repeatedly dissolved the Duma, the Russian parliament established after the Revolution of 1905, when it opposed his will.

However, the immediate cause of the February Revolution--the first phase of the Russian Revolution of 1917--was Russia's disastrous involvement in World War I. Militarily, imperial Russia was no match for industrialized Germany, and Russian casualties were greater than those sustained by any nation in any previous war. Meanwhile, the economy was hopelessly disrupted by the costly war effort, and moderates joined Russian radical elements in calling for the overthrow of the czar.

And then:  March 8, 1917, demonstrators clamoring for bread took to the streets in the Russian capital of Petrograd. Supported by 90,000 men and women on strike, the protesters clashed with police but refused to leave the streets. On the 10th, the strike spread among all workers, and irate mobs destroyed police stations.

On the 11th, troops were called out to quell the uprising. Regiments opened fire, killing demonstrators, but the protesters kept to the streets, and the troops began to waver.  On March 12, the revolution triumphed when regiment after regiment defected to the cause of the demonstrators. The soldiers, some 150,000 men, subsequently formed committees that elected deputies to the Petrograd Soviet.

On the 13th, the imperial government was forced to resign, and the Duma formed a provisional government that peacefully vied with the Petrograd Soviet for control of the revolution.  And on the 15th (1 week after riots begun), Czar Nicholas II abdicated the throne in favor of his brother Michael, whose refusal of the crown brought an end to the czarist autocracy.

I thought of the February Revolution because of what's going on in Egypt, Libya and a dozen other nations from North Africa to Middle East to Europe. People suffering economically through no fault of their own- due to corrupt governments and even more corrupt businesspeople and bankers.  Oh yes, don't forget Europe- that continent's "cauldron" is bubbling too thanks to the IMF and vicious austerity.

From Mar 6, 2011:

"A year after Greece began its tough austerity drive on 3 March 2010, which was swiftly followed by a 110bn euro (£94bn) bailout from the EU, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, how is Greece coping?"

"The austerity programme... is hitting everyday life hard. Civil servants have had pay freezes or cuts – mainly through losing bonuses – of up to 30 per cent; VAT (value added taxes) has risen to 21 per cent and state-funded pensions are being reduced to reflect average lifetime earnings rather than final salaries."

"The low spending power has put the Greek economy in a severe recession: it contracted 4.5 per cent in 2010 and the government is forecasting it will shrink a further 3 per cent this year. Inflation is hurting at 5.2 per cent, while unemployment has hit 13.9 per cent. A generation faces a bleak future, with youth unemployment at 35 per cent.  "We are close to the limit of what people can bear, and if the government tries to take more from us I believe there will be a revolution."  (A Greek citizen said)   "

~ As for the US, bankers an government need not worry-- we are quite good and bending over and Taking It for extended periods.  Just don't take away our NFL football-  then you will arouse "The Great Sleeping Couch Potato."

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