Those Lovable Tyrants

We all hate the tyrants of the world and of history…like Hitler, Mussolini, Saddam, et al.

But did you know that there were “tyrants” that were actually loved by the people they held sway over.

That’s right a “lovable tyrant”.

According to Jean Kim, M.D.’s 2017 article in Psychology Today, “Why Do People Follow Tyrants?”, an effective tyrant recognizes and responds to certain fundamental human desires. The tyrant’s strength and authority may allow him or her to present himself or herself as a parental figure, caring for an entire nation. Sometimes the nation’s parental figure is also its adolescent. A tyrant’s willingness to transgress legal boundaries may also contribute to his or her appeal. Perhaps none of the rulers on this list are admirable, but all of them were (or, in some cases, are) very popular tyrants.

10.  Queen Elizabeth I

In a 2013 article written in honor of the birth of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s first child, George, Business Insider compiled a list of the 10 greatest monarchs in British history. Queen Elizabeth I was one of only three queens listed. It’s understandably tempting to laud or critique Queen Elizabeth by comparing her to contemporary female political figures. However, it’s equally important to remember she was beloved by her own subjects in her own time. She couldn’t possibly have been a feminist monarch — the concept of feminism didn’t exist in 16th century England — but she was certainly a popular one. Unlike her half-sister, the staunchly Catholic Queen Mary I of England, who charged nearly 300 English Protestants with heresy and burned them at the stake, the Protestant Queen Elizabeth I didn’t publicly persecute Catholics.

Can you think of any that should be added to this article/list?

Not all authoritarians are hated….only the crazy ones (LOL)….

Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”


It seems that in recent history that we have had cults and death interlinked…..Heaven’s Gate, Jonestown, some Japanese bunch….point being cults are serious business….we have religious cults, cults of personality, etc……but have they always been around?

I found a historic look at cults that we probably never heard of…..

When you think of a “cult,” you may imagine some of the modern-day groups that believe in aliens or think that their leader is the second coming of Jesus Christ. Well, it turns out that human beings have been joining cults and heretic religions for thousands of years. Many of them have been totally forgotten by the average person, and you may have never been taught about these religions in history class. Here are 10 of the most shocking cults from ancient history.

10. The Skoptsy

Nearly every Christian-based religion has looked down upon having any kind of sex outside of marriage at some point or another, believing we should reserve the deed for having children. After all, lust is considered to be one of the seven deadly sins, and “thou shall not commit adultery” is one of the Ten Commandments. But one Russian cult from the 1800s called the Skoptsy took this rule so far they believed that you should never get it on — even if you’re married

Believe it or not, the Skoptsy is estimated to have had up to a million followers during their heyday. They encouraged their followers to remove any body parts that may lead them to lust. Men would castrate themselves, and women would have mastectomies. The founder of the cult, Kondraty Selivanov, had the audacity to approach Tsar Paul I, saying, “I am not the father of sin: Accept my act and I will recognize you as my son.” After this incident, the Tsar had him committed to an insane asylum, and the cult fell apart soon after. Today, there are no remaining members of the Skoptsy, which shouldn’t come as a surprise at all, considering that they wouldn’t have been able to have children to pass their beliefs on to.

I am sure that there is a cult waiting to happen as I type…..they will always be with us..

Class Dismissed!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego ergo scribo”

Those Wacky Romans!

Many historians are enthralled with the Romans and their empire…well I am NOT one of those people…..but I did find some of their actions disgusting and at times humorous…..

For instance they had a pee tax….by pee I mean urine……

The Romans collected pee daily from public and private urinals located throughout the city. The contents would be used as a natural cleaning agent for a variety of applications such as washing clothes, tanning leather, bleaching textiles, and even brushing one’s teeth. 

If you’ve wondered why urine smells, a simple chemical reaction is to blame. When exposed to nitrogen in the atmosphere, pee undergoes a transformation in which proteins metabolize to produce ammonia — a commodity in high demand during the first century AD. 

Naturally, officials sought to capitalize on the flowing resource by levying what came to be known as the vectigal urinae or “urine tax.” When public urinals and private toilets became full, the collector would be charged a tariff s on these pots of liquid gold. As a result, it popularized the phrase, pecunia non olet  (“money does not stink”). 

There is so much more……

First let me say….Eeeewwwww!

Let’s hope it never comes to that in our era……we pay enough taxes (well some of us do…others get a free ride)….we already pay taxes on tobacco, whiskey, gas, etc next in line will be our urine.

That ends my class for this session….

Class Dismissed!

“lego ergo scribo”

People You Have Never Heard Anything About

The first weekend of the new year, 2020, and I thought I would just post on some people from history that you may have never heard of but did have an effect……

Fame is a curious thing. Two people will devote their lives to working toward the same world changing goal, with one gaining global recognition while the other slides into obscurity. So what makes one person famous while the other remains an unknown?

Good PR is often a part of it, of course. Other times people suffer from bad timing, and some are just overlooked by historians and the media for whatever reason, rendering their accomplishments and deeds largely ignored by the general public. So who are these historical “coulda-beens”? Well, it’s funny you should ask…

Here is an interesting thought….there is still hope for you and I in the big picture we call history…..we could make a difference….but that will depend on your desire.

Class Dismissed!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Where Have All The ____ Gone?

As a young man just returned from service in Vietnam I found myself protesting for an end to that war and all wars.

For me war is an obscene show of force….”mine is bigger than yours” sort of thing. There is nothing romantic or heroic about the destruction of life and limb.

After several trips to the local jail for defying a police order and the life caught up with me and I became a father and had tom get a “real job” and slowly my activism got less important but the feelings about war stayed with me and I wrote about them whenever I got the chance.

Somewhere in the absence from the movement and it died….and now all our wars, endless, senseless wars, go on and on unchallenged…..a sad thing indeed for the US had a proud history of pacifism and protests…..

Resistance to war is as old as war itself. The first recorded instance was a Christian, Maximilian, who was executed in the 3rd century AD for refusing to join the Roman army. There have been many other individuals who have refused to serve in war throughout history. But for the beginnings of a coherent peace movement, rather than individual resistance, we have to look to the 19th century.

In America, the first pamphlets calling for an organised anti-war movement were distributed in 1814, and the first meeting of the New York Peace Society followed a year afterwards. Soon there were chapters all over America, and similar societies in Europe too. The American Peace Society was officially founded in 1828.

During World War I, a large number of men resisted conscription on the grounds of conscientious objection to war. Some were made to pay fines, and many others were sent to prison. The No-Conscription Fellowship was formed in 1914, and grew into a substantial movement once conscription was introduced in 1916. Some of these objectors went on to found War Resisters’ International in the aftermath of the war. The War Resisters’ League, its American branch, was set up a couple of years later in 1923, and both groups are still actively campaigning today.

It wasn’t until the Vietnam War, however, that the anti-war movement began to really take hold in the public imagination. Opposition to the war became less individual and, inspired by the Civil Rights movement, took the form of widespread, large-scale demonstrations attended by people from all walks of life. Starting with small demonstrations on university campuses around the United States in 1964 the movement grew quickly, with several marches of hundreds of thousands of people throughout the USA and in Europe over the following years. In 1969, the November 15th Moratorium March in Washington, D.C. was attended by over half a million people.

So I asked….what happened to the antiwar movement?

Years ago, most Americans decided that the war in Iraq was not worth fighting. That judgment helped elect Barack Obama president in 2008. Last year, for the first time, a majority of those polled said it had been a mistake to send forces into Afghanistan as well. Support for both wars has been steadily declining since Obama first took office.

So why, given the unpopularity of American involvement, is there not and has there never been a sizable movement to demand that the U.S. military withdraw from either nation? This absence is an extraordinary phenomenon: two of the longest wars in American history entirely lack the kind of organized, sustained opposition that emerged during nearly every other major armed conflict the United States has fought over the past two centuries.

Why Is There No Antiwar Movement?

There are other theories and articles to why there is no substantial antiwar movement anymore in this country…

We need a strong antiwar movement to keep the power brokers honest (as honest as they can ever be)…..we have had enough wars and far way too long…..

Just a musical interlude after a somber post…..

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Those Dark Moments In History

Sunday and I feel I need tom do some writing on those dark moments in history…..the US has ours like the Trail of Tears, Wounded Knee, My Lai, Kent State, etc but since I have so many UK readers I wanted to see their dark moments in their history.

Every country has them but in this case are they the darkest days of English history?

I read an article of some of those dark times…..but according to my readers are these the best examples of dark moments?

According to the article these are the top 10 moments of darkness….

10. The Peterloo Massacre

On August 16, 1819, a large crowd of 60,000 working class people gathered in St. Peter’s Field (now St. Peter’s Square) in Manchester to advocate for parliamentary representation at a time when only the rich, land-owning elite were allowed to vote. According to contemporary reports, the protesters were, by and large, orderly and disciplined, dressed in their best outfits, carrying around banners that said things like “Universal Suffrage” and “Equal Representation.” In exchange, the magistrates sent in the cavalry who immediately started cutting people down with sabers and stomping them to death.

An estimated 14 to 18 people were killed during the massacre while another 600 to 650 were injured. The government sided with the local magistrates and their priority then became to crack down on those trying to spread word of the Peterloo Massacre, as it became known, under the charge of sedition. The organizers were arrested, as were journalists, particularly those from the radical publication the Manchester Observer

Even in modern times, the government has had issues properly addressing what really happened at St. Peter’s Field. Up until recently, the only reminder of what occurred on that spot was a blue plaque that simply said that the military dispersed a crowd of 60,000, carefully omitting the word “massacre.” It wasn’t until 2007 that a new, truthful plaque took its place.

Not being a British historian I found these incidents fascinating……but how accurate are they?

Please if there are others that need to be added then let me know for I am listening.

Also I am not looking for more US dark moments….if you read this then I am looking for history of the UK.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

American Presidents–The Terrible

That time again…..time for a the old professor to expand your mind….and with out those drug altering drugs…..

History time again…..(I can hear the eye rolls and the heavy sighs)….as I type….according to some this admin is one of the worst in our history…..but how does it rank?

If you are a voter then you have an idea who you think was a terrible president…..most times it is along party lines…..but for the sake of argument I found a list of who they think were the “terrible” presidents…..this is along ethic and moral lines…..

Not all American presidents set a good example during their time in the White House. Your take on the most hated presidents probably depends at least a little bit on your politics. But when it comes to ethics, some presidents did things that, many Americans would agree, made them terrible people. Some committed crimes. Others took sexist, racist, or homophobic actions. Still others sanctioned unnecessary violence and brought about the deaths of thousands of people.

Democratic or Republican, numerous presidents have done things that Americans shouldn’t feel proud of. Read on to discover some of the American presidents who were actually terrible people.

Please if you have someone else in mind please let us know and we can discuss your choice.

Class Dismissed!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”