A Couple of Unbelievable Places

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Salar de Uyuni, the larger of the two Bolivian salt flats, contains an astounding 10 billion tons of salt and covers over 4,000 square miles. That makes it the largest salt flat in the world, more than 20 times bigger than America’s largest, in Death Valley.

Lake Retba (Lac Rose), Senegal

Just under an hour from Dakar, the capital city of Senegal, sits this naturally pink lake. Lake Retba, or Lac Rose, gets its distinctive color from a bacteria that produces a red pigment in order to absorb the sunlight.

lake retba

Georgia O’Keeffe Painting Sets Record

jimson-weed

The Georgia O’Keeffe painting “Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1″ sold for $44.4 million at auction Thursday, setting a record for a piece by a female artist.

The 1932 painting, which hung in the White House from 2002 to 2008, shattered the previous record set by an untitled Joan Mitchell painting that went for $11.9 million. “Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1″ sold for $1 million in 1994, and was expected to fetch $10 to $15 million this time around. Sotheby’s said the painting was sold by the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, with the proceeds going to its acquisitions fund.

The British Hedge In India

Salt is something of a surprisingly invaluable resource—it has been all across the globe, and it’s always been something of a commodity. Commodities are often subject to taxes, and under British rule, the Salt Tax was law in India.

India came under direct British rule in 1857; among the laws that were now being enforced were customs laws, and goods coming into British India were taxed. With those laws came a definite need to enforce them. Over the next few decades, there were a series of customs houses built all across India, monitoring all the activity that was going on from the Indus River in the west to the Mahanadi in the east.

But there also needed to be some sort of border to help patrols make sure that no smugglers were slipping through the lines with goods, specifically salt, that hadn’t had their taxes paid.

And, as unlikely as it seems, the answer was a hedge. It was an impressive hedge, no doubt, more than 14 ft. high in some places, anywhere from 6–12 ft. thick. It was composed of whatever native plants were handy, but much of the hedge was dwarf Indian plum. Other plants included the prickly pear, the babool, and the carounda—the resulting hedge was a dense, sharp, thorny mass.

The customs houses were first; they had begun to be built in 1803, and gradually, the hedge popped up between the houses in long spurs. Overall, the hedge ultimately grew to be around 2,300 mi. long, and was patrolled by more than 12,000 men. Its only purpose was to separate areas that produced salt from those that didn’t—and to make sure there was no one able to dodge the tax. The whole thing was a steady work in progress; some areas were destroyed by fires and the weather and needed to be relentlessly repaired.

According to contemporary descriptions of the hedge, it was impossible to pass through, a thick, tangled mass of both living and dry, dead bushes. In places, it was reinforced with lumber, wood, or stone fence, and it wasn’t just the thick brush that deterred potential smugglers—it was the ants that lived in the bushes as well.

By 1836, one estimate states that a single family in the province of Bengal would spend anywhere up to six months of their annual income just on paying for their salt and the associated taxes. Salt wasn’t just something that people could give up, either. Estimates are difficult to pinpoint, but it’s thought that anywhere from 15 to 30 million people ultimately died from salt deprivation, along with countless animals and livestock.

The hedge is one of those monumental undertakings that has been largely ignored in history books. British author and historian Roy Moxham stumbled across a single reference to it in the memoirs of a British officer who had lived in India, and was completely taken aback at how unlikely it was that he was reading it right.

The Revolutions First Casualty

crispus attucks
Who was the Revolutionary War’s first colonial casualty? A black seaman with Native American roots.

Crispus Attucks’ dramatic death made him a polarizing figure in 1770. On March 5th of that year, the infamous Boston Massacre claimed his life and left a legacy over which the emerging nation would soon struggle.

Attucks’ early days are largely clouded in mystery. It appears that his father, Prince Yonger, was an abducted West African while his mother likely hailed from New England’s native Wampanoag people (in whose language Attucks means “small male deer”). Crispus himself was born in Framingham, Massachusetts sometime around 1723. Though historians aren’t quite sure if he was birthed into slavery, there’s no doubt that young Attucks was quickly claimed by this “peculiar institution” or a similar form of dehumanizing servitude.

Attucks appears to have run off in 1750, as evidenced by a telling Boston Gazette advertisement which read, “Ran away from his Master William Brown of Framingham, on the 30th of Sept. last… A Molatto Fellow, about 27 Years of age, named Crispas [sic], 6 Feet two Inches high, short curl’d Hair, his Knees nearer together than common: had on a light colour’d Bearskin coat.”

Ultimately, Attucks eluded re-capture and is believed to have worked as a Boston-based sailor and rope-maker. As such, he would have had plenty of reason to harbor anti-British grievances. To begin with, the Royal Navy had acquired a nasty habit of forcing Yankee sea-farers into its ranks. Furthermore, when they weren’t patrolling the coastline, nautical Brits often earned extra cash by competing with New England tradesmen for a variety of jobs.

This tense situation worsened by the day, and, before long, it exploded. When Boston’s Massacre broke out, Attucks—who stood near the front lines—became its first victim, though how he came to be there remains uncertain. Some witnesses claimed that, wielding a wooden staff, Attucks played ringleader and rallied this Massachusetts mob. Others believe he was merely standing in the wrong place at the wrong time, a mistake for which he received two bullets to the chest.

Lawyer and future President John Adams stood firmly in the former camp. While arguing on behalf of the redcoats who fired the shots, Adams denounced Attucks as one who “in all probability [caused] the dreadful behavior of that night.” His “very looks,” Adams opined, were “enough to terrify any person.”

However, in dying, Attucks also earned his fair share of admirers. Local revolutionaries not only hailed him as a martyr, but, in defiance of the law at the time, buried him alongside the fray’s white victims within a common grave. The Crispus Attucks Monument (an ornate, statue-laden column) was erected in the Boston Commons 118 years later.

Services Conservatives Should Give Up

Use the following chart below to help you know which services you should forfeit so you do not support, even accidentally, the current Nazi Socialist Marxist Kenyan regime out to destroy traditional family values, your Constitutionally guaranteed right to stand your ground, and your fear of God….

Do not call for an ambulance, the fire department or any other emergency services to include the hospitals or the police.

Do not expect convicted felons to remain off the streets as you will no longer be able to enjoy the security of jails and prisons or probation and parole officers.

Do not use any medical services licensed through the state or federal government.

Do not use Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security or State Supplemental Income.

Do not use the courts, court appointed attorneys, attorneys licensed through the state.

Do not worry about voting.

Don’t bother expecting anymore benefits from Homeland Security.

Don’t look for National Guard or any other disaster relief agencies and services.

Don’t bother observing traffic signs, lights, streetlights, lane designations…. that is if you can find any roads that were not paid through with government funds.

Don’t bother sending your children to public schools or asking for government sponsored student loans or grants.

Don’t expect anymore border security.

Don’t look for any protection or assistance from the US Armed Services to include rescue services from the Coast Guard.

Don’t use any roadways or bridges paid for through government programs.

Don’t use public parks or recreation areas such as playgrounds or sports fields/courts.

Fire Rescue and Services – nope! Go ahead and removed them from the list of unnecessary services you are currently being forced to pay for.

Forget about any safety codes including those governing building, food or medicines just to name a few.

Forget about calling the local police or sheriff’s department in an emergency or when your house is being robbed.

Forget about clean air and water standards as well as any nutritional standards.

Forget about public service announcements or the American Geological Survey or the National Weather Service.
.

Forget about any government sponsored or funded utility services to include waste management, electricity, water purification.

Getting any military benefits? Not anymore.

Hope you are not in an automobile accident with an unlicensed or uninsured motorist as you cannot avail yourself of the court system and cannot compel them to have insurance or pay you otherwise.

Illegal immigrant get your job? Don’t bother calling Immigration.

Need the bomb squad? Don’t bother calling – they are part of the police departments you are no longer supporting.

No longer apply for a driver’s license as they are issued and administered through the government, however it really doesn’t matter as you will no longer be using roads anyway.

No longer plan on using Medicare or Medicaid.

No longer visit National Parks, Wildlife Reserves or National Forests, make an appointment with EXXON instead.

Public restrooms – no problem. They no longer exist.

Vouchers? Forget them too.

Want a job? That is going to be hard to get without a government issued I.D., proof of residency or a social security number.

Want to get married so you can include your spouse on your insurance plan or retirement? Forget about it, the government issues the license. You can forget about adopting any children as well.

Want to visit another country? Don’t bother unless you know a way around the border stop which is patrolled by the government and don’t forget you no longer can get a passport any more.

You need to worry about clean air or water once the commie EPA is shut down.

You no longer have to be bothered with paved roads, highways, interstate freeways or public bridges.

You won’t have to worry about those public waste service employees making all that noise picking up your garbage. Those operations will be shut down once your tax dollars quit coming.

Your child got molested? Don’t bother calling Child Protective Services.