21FEB11

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We’ve got a self-sustaining chain reaction mechanism going here. Unrest in oil-producing countries leads to higher oil prices leads to higher prices for combine fuel leads to higher wheat and corn prices leads to more unrest in oil-producing countries. Lather, rinse, repeat.

The Fed refuses to tamp it down because both food and energy costs are removed from their calculations for “core inflation” so their mandate for lower unemployment overrides, and they refuse to set rates back to the historical 3%-5% level.

Frank Herbert had a theory in his Dune books that the human race instinctively sought chaos to mix the genes without plan. Thus the periodic convulsions in history that no one could prevent. We saw a little of this instinct here at the Belmont Club when Israel and Lebanon went at it in 2006, people got their popcorn ready and were disappointed at all the restraint on the part of the IDF. Sixty years of stasis since the last World War has resulted in a lot of kindling on the floor of the world forest, and she’s already burning.

Births for February 21

  • 1417 Louis IX, Duke of Bayern (University of Ingolstadt)
  • 1484 Joachim I Nestor, ruler (Brandenburg, Constitution)
  • 1728 Peter III, Kiel Germany, Russian tsar (1761-62), husband of Catherine
  • 1730 Charles L Fournier, Flemish writer/painter
  • 1794 Antonio L¢pez de Santa Anna, president of M‚xico (1833-36)
  • 1800 John Henry Winder, Brig General (Confederate Army), died in 1865
  • 1801 John Henry Newman, England, cardinal/author (Dream of Gerontius)
  • 1802 George Douglas Ramsey, Bvt Major general (Union Army), died in 1882
  • 1805 David Tod, Governor (Union), died in 1868
  • 1815 Ernest Meissonier, French painter/sculptor
  • 1817 Jos‚ Zorrilla y Moral, Vallodolid Spain, poet/dramatist (El rey Loco)
  • 1821 Charles Scribner, US, music publisher (Scribner Catalog)
  • 1829 Johnson Hagood, Brig General (Confederate Army), died in 1898
  • 1836 L‚o Delibes, Saint-Germain-du-Val France, ballet composer (Copp‚lia)
  • 1844 Charles-Marie Widor, Lyons France, composer/prof (Paris Conservatory)
  • 1855 Alice Freeman Palmer, educator (Hall of Fame)
  • 1856 Hendrik P Berlage, architect (Stock exchange Amsterdam)
  • 1867 Otto Hermann Kahn, Banker, organized Metropolitan Opera Co
  • 1877 Jacob D du Toit (Totius), South Africans poet/theologist)
  • 1880 Frank Orth, Phila Pa, actor (Boston Blackie, Brothers)
  • 1881 Savilly Tartakower, Austrian/Polish/French chess player
  • 1885 Sacha Guitry, France, actor/playwright (Story of a Cheat)
  • 1887 Savielly (Xavier) G Tartakower, Austrian/Polish/French chess player
  • 1893 Andr‚s Segovia, Linares Spain, classical guitarist
  • 1893 Vsevolod Pudovkin, Soviet film director/theorist (Mother, Deserter)
  • 1902 Arthur D Nock, English/US historian (St Paul)
  • 1902 Bob (H˜man) Scholte, singer
  • 1903 Ana‹s Nin, Paris, novelist (Winter of Artifice, House of Incense)
  • 1903 Madeleine Renaud, French actress/theater director (Plaisir)
  • 1903 Thomas Yawkey, baseball owner (Boston Red Sox)
  • 1904 Armand Preud'homme, Flemish organist/poet
  • 1907 Wystan Hugh Auden, US, poet (Age of Anxiety-Pulitzer 1948)
  • 1908 Raymond Queneau, (M Presle), French writer
  • 1909 George G F van Renesse, pianist/music director
  • 1909 Hans Erni, Switz, painter/sculptor
  • 1912 Nikita Magaloff, Russian/Swiss pianist
  • 1913 Glenn M Anderson, (Rep-D-CA, 1969- )
  • 1914 Arnold S Denker, NY, US chess champion (1944-46)
  • 1915 Ann Sheridan, Denton Texas, actress (Dodge City, Good Sam)
  • 1915 Godfrey Brown, England, 4 X 400m runner (Olympic-gold-1936)
  • 1922 Murray "the K" Kaufman, NYC DJ (5th Beatle)
  • 1923 Zvi Zeitlin, Dubrovnik Yugoslavia, violinist/prof (Eastman School)
  • 1925 Al Fann, Cleve, actor (Alvin-He's the Mayor)
  • 1925 Sam Peckinpah, film director (Wild Bunch, Straw Dogs)
  • 1927 Erma Bombeck, Ohio, humorist (Grass Is Always Greener...)
  • 1927 Hubert Givenchy, fashion designer
  • 1927 Hubert de Givenchy, fashion designer (Audrey Hepburn)
  • 1931 Larry Hagman, TV actor (I Dream of Jeannie, Dallas)
  • 1932 Harold V, King of Norway (1990- )
  • 1933 Nina Simone, Tyron NC, singer/pianist (I Love You Porgy)
  • 1934 Rue McClanahan, Healdton Okla, actress (Maude, Golden Girls)
  • 1936 Barbara Jordan, Houston, Tx, (Rep-D-Tx)
  • 1937 Gary Lockwood, Van Nuys Cal, actor (2001, Survival Zone, Lieutenant)
  • 1937 Ron Clarke, Australia, runner (held 19 world records)
  • 1938 Beryl F Anthony Jr, (Rep-D-CA, 1979- )
  • 1939 Richard Beymer, Iowa, actor (West Side Story, Diary of Anne Frank)
  • 1940 John Lewis, (Rep-D-Georgia)
  • 1940 Peter McEnery, England, actor (Game is Over, Moonspinners)
  • 1942 Margarethe von Trotta, Germany, actress/director (Marianne)
  • 1943 David Geffin, Brooklyn NY, record producer (Geffin, Asylum)
  • 1944 Kitty Winn, Wash DC, actress (Beacon Hill)
  • 1946 Tricia Nixon Cox, Richard Milhaus' daughter (or 0202)
  • 1946 Tyne Daly, Madison Wisc, actress (Cagney & Lacey, Angel Unchained)
  • 1947 Jill Eikenberry, actress (Ann Kelsey-LA Law)
  • 1947 Olympia J Snowe, (Rep-R-ME, 1979- )
  • 1948 Larry Ragland, Richmond Va, comedian (Keep on Truckin')
  • 1949 Jerry Harrison, rock keyboardist (Talking Heads-& She Was)
  • 1952 J J Brunel, rocker (Stranglers-Dreamtime)
  • 1958 Jack Coleman, Easton Pa, actor (Steven Carrington-Dynasty)
  • 1958 Jake Steinfeld, exercise expert (Body by Jake)
  • 1958 Mary-Chapin Carpenter, singer (Shooting Straight in the Dark)
  • 1961 Christopher Atkins, Rye NY, actor (Peter-Dallas, Blue Lagoon)
  • 1961 Ranking Roger, rock vocalist (English Beat-Drowning)
  • 1963 Michael Gostigian, Phila Pa, US pentathlete (Olympic-92)
  • 1964 Alana Soares, Redondo Beach Ca, playmate (Mar, 1983)
  • 1966 Wendy James, rocker (Transvision Vamp-Velveteen)
  • 1968 Todd Ferich, computer language expert
  • 1968 Wendy James, West London England, singer (Revolution Baby)
  • 1975 Troy Slaten, actor (Jerry-Parker Lewis Can't Lose)


Passings for February 21


  • 556 Maximianus van Ravenna, bishop (basilica S Stefano), dies
  • 1513 Julius II, (Giuliano dellea Rovere), Pope (1503-13), dies
  • 1554 Hieronymus Bock, German doctor, founder of modern botany, dies
  • 1677 (Benedictus) Baruch Spinoza, philosopher, dies
  • 1689 Isaacus Vossius, (Isaac Vos), librarian, dies
  • 1730 Benedict XIII, (Pietro F Orsini), Pope (1724-30), dies at 81
  • 1803 Edward Despard, last drawn & quartered in England
  • 1887 Jean C F Demolombe, (prince l'ex‚gse), French lawyer, dies at 82
  • 1919 Karl von Hohenzollern, Prince of Belgium, dies
  • 1919 Kurt Eisner, soc premier Bayern, murdered
  • 1926 Heike Kamerlingh Onnes, physicist (Nobel 1913), dies
  • 1938 George Ellery Hale, astronomer, dies
  • 1951 Anton Roemer, actor, dies at 63
  • 1961 Blaise Cendrars, (Fr‚d‚ric Sauser-Hall), Switz, poet, dies at 73
  • 1965 Malcolm X, (Little), black muslim leader, assassinated at 39 in NYC
  • 1968 Anthony Asquith, British director (Court Martial), dies
  • 1969 Jos‚ de Capriles, Mexican-born US Olympic fencer, dies
  • 1976 Florence Ballard, rocker (Supremes), dies
  • 1976 Frieda Inescort, actress (Meet Corliss Archer), dies at 74
  • 1984 Michail A Sjolochov, Russian writer (Ocean Don, Nobel 1965), dies
  • 1985 Ina Claire, comedienne, dies following a stroke at 92
  • 1985 Louis Hayward, actor (Lone Wolf, Survivors), dies of lung cancer at 7
  • 1991 Dame Margot Fonteyn, ballerina, dies of cancer at 71
  • 1992 Franc Holden, British astronomer (Binary Stars), dies
  • 1992 Jane Pickens Langley Hoving, singer, dies at 83
  • 1992 Kate A ter Horst-Arri‰ns, nurse (Battle of Arnhem), dies


Special events for February 21


  • 1431 England begins trial against Joan of Ark
  • 1613 Michael Romanov, son of Patriarch of Moscow, elected Russian tsar
  • 1782 US congress resolves establishment of a US mint
  • 1797 Trinidad, West Indies surrenders to British
  • 1804 1st locomotive, Richard Trevithick's, runs for 1st time, in Wales
  • 1828 1st Indian newspaper in US, Cherokee Phoenix (weekly), Georgia
  • 1842 1st known sewing machine patent in US, John Greenough, Wash DC
  • 1846 1st US woman telegrapher, Sarah G Bagley, Lowell, Mass
  • 1853 US authorizes minting of $3 gold pieces
  • 1857 US issues flying eagle cents
  • 1858 1st electric burglar alarm installed (Boston, Mass)
  • 1861 Navaho indians elects Herrero Grande as chief
  • 1862 Battle of Valverde, NM Terr - CS victory
  • 1862 Texas Rangers win Confederate victory at Battle of Val Verde, NM
  • 1864 1st US Catholic parish church for blacks dedicated, Baltimore
  • 1866 Lucy B Hobbs (Taylor) becomes 1st US woman to earn a DDS degree
  • 1874 Benjamin Disraeli replaces William Gladstone as English premier
  • 1874 Oakland Daily Tribune begins publication
  • 1878 1st telephone directory (with 50 names) issued, New Haven, Conn
  • 1882 NYC's 24 hour race begins, winner with most mileage in 24 hours
  • 1885 Washington Monument dedicated (Washington, DC)
  • 1887 1st US bacteriology laboratory opens, in Brooklyn
  • 1887 Oregon becomes 1st US state to make Labor Day a holiday
  • 1895 NC Legislature, adjourns for day to mark death of Frederick Douglass
  • 1902 Dr Harvey Cushing, 1st US brain surgeon, does his 1st brain operation
  • 1903 Cornerstone laid for US army war college, Washington, DC
  • 1904 National Ski Association formed, Ishpeming, Mich
  • 1906 A Kopff discovers asteroid #596 Scheila
  • 1906 M Wolf discovers asteroid #586 Thekla
  • 1907 Hoek van Holland & passenger ship SS Berlin collide (142 dead)
  • 1914 White Wolf troops attack Shanghai China
  • 1915 20th Russian Army corps surrenders
  • 1915 World's Fair in SF opens
  • 1916 Battle of Verdun begins (1 million casualties)
  • 1916 M Wolf discovers asteroid #818 Kapteynia
  • 1917 British Mendi sinks off Isle of Wight, 627 die
  • 1917 Train near Chirurcha Romania catches fire & explodes; 100s die
  • 1918 Austrians chase Turkish troop out of Jericho, Palestine
  • 1919 Revolutionary strike in Barcelona
  • 1922 Airship Rome explodes at Hampton Roads Virginia; 34 die
  • 1922 Great Britain give Egypt independence
  • 1922 WHK-AM in Cleveland OH begins radio transmissions
  • 1925 1st issue of New Yorker magazine published
  • 1925 Mass meeting of SPD's Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot-Was
  • 1927 Premire of Franz Leh rs opera, Zarewitsch
  • 1932 Andr‚ Tardieu becomes premier of France
  • 1932 Camera exposure meter patented, WN Goodwin
  • 1934 Nicaraguan patriot Augusto Cesar Sandino assassinated by Natl Guard
  • 1936 F Rigaux discovers asteroid #1378 Leonce
  • 1939 Belgian cabinet of Pierlot forms
  • 1943 Secret Police evacuate Apeld'se Forest, North Auschwitz
  • 1944 "War As It Happens" news show premiers on NBC (NYC only)
  • 1945 British Army captures Goch
  • 1946 Anti-British demonstrates in Egypt
  • 1947 1st instant developing camera demonstrated in NYC, by E H Land
  • 1950 WOI TV channel 5 in Ames-Des Moines, IA (ABC/PBS) begins broadcasting
  • 1952 Bangladesh Martyrs Day (martyrs of Bengali Language Movement)
  • 1952 Dick Button performs 1st figure skating triple jump in competition
  • 1952 Liz Taylor's 2nd marriage (Michael Wilding)
  • 1953 F Crick & J Watson discover structure of DNA-molecule
  • 1953 Longest collegiate basketball game (6 OTs) Niagara beats Siena 88-81
  • 1958 Egypt-Syria as UAR elect Nasser president (99.9% vote)
  • 1961 Gabon adopts constitution
  • 1961 Mercury-Atlas 2 reentry test reaches 172 km
  • 1962 Minister De Pous confirms natural gas reserves in Groningen Neth
  • 1964 UK flies 24,000 rolls of Beatle wallpaper to US
  • 1968 Baseball announces a minimum annual salary of $10,000
  • 1969 1st launching of heavy N-1 rocket at Baikonur Kazachstan (explodes)
  • 1969 B Burnasheva discovers asteroid #3406
  • 1971 Series of tornadoes cuts through Miss & La killing 117
  • 1972 Richard Nixon becomes 1st US president to visit China
  • 1973 Chicago Black Hawks, NHL record 262nd game without being shut-out
  • 1974 Silver hits record $5.96« an ounce in London
  • 1974 Yugoslavia adopts constitution
  • 1975 John Lennon releases "Rock 'n' Roll" album
  • 1980 Hanni Wenzel is 1st Liechtensteiner to win Olymp gold (giant slalom)
  • 1980 L G Karachkina discovers asteroid #3508 Pasternak
  • 1981 "Yorkshire ripper" Peter Sutcliffe, murderer of 13 women, captured
  • 1981 Charles Rocket clearly says "fuck" on Saturday Night Live
  • 1981 Japan launches Hinotori satellite to study solar flares (580/640 k)
  • 1981 NASA launches Comstar D-4
  • 1982 Bowell disc asteroid 2634 James Bradley, 2635 Huggins & 2939 Coconino
  • 1983 Donald Davis runs 1 mile backwards in 6 m 7.1 s
  • 1983 NBA San Diego Clippers begin a 29 game road losing streak
  • 1985 Largest NBA crowd to date 44,970 (Atlanta at Detroit)
  • 1986 Tennis star Jimmy Connors fined $20,000 & suspended for 10 weeks
  • 1988 Actor Dudley Moore marries actress Brogan Lane
  • 1988 Televangelist Jimmy Swaggert confesses his sins to his congregation
  • 1989 US bust Chinese ring, capture record 820 lbs heroin ($1B st value)
  • 1989 US capture record 820 lbs of heroin ($1 B street value)
  • 1993 Sergei Bubka pole vaults world record indoor (6.15 m)


Songs for date February 21


  • 02/21/41 --- Oh, Look At Me Now (Dorsey, Tommy)
  • 02/21/46 --- Oh! What It Seemed To Be (Haymes, Dick)
  • 02/21/46 --- Let It Snow! Let It Snow! (Herman, Woody)
  • 02/21/47 --- Anniversary Song (Beneke, Tex)
  • 02/21/47 --- Heartaches (Weems, Ted)
  • 02/21/70 --- House Of The Rising Sun (Frijid Pink)
  • 02/21/81 --- Don't Stand So Close To Me (Police)
  • 02/21/87 --- Don't Dream It's Over (Crowded House)
  • 02/21/87 --- Lean On Me (Club Nouveau)
  • 02/21/87 --- Tonight, Tonight, Tonight (Genesis)
  • 02/21/87 --- Final Countdown, The (Europe)
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