//*** Mods please move this thread and delete this line if necessary, I put it in general conspiracies because it deals with similar matters that
people theorize about. However this story is fact so now that I think about it, it probably belongs somewhere else, you decide. ***
I've been meaning to make a thread about this, but I never had the motivation to do it really until a few things popped up and gave me the motivation
to write about a little insight hidden inside our history as Americans. A couple of threads on ATS right now kind of played a part influencing me to
write this, they are:
Pa. Welfare Agency Spends $20K ... on Flag Pole
What exactly DO we want?
So without further ado let me tell you the story of a man named Thomas Nast
, a humble cartoonist in
the 19th century that you may have already heard about. Perhaps he drew some of the characterizations we take for granted nowadays, some of them
rather prominent; poke around a bit and find out which ones if you want, I won't go into that.
Mr. Nast was born in Germany in 1840, back when the world was a lot different than it was today. By his fathers bidding he found his way to America in
1846, settling down and studying art in New York, the city that would eventually become the heart of capitalism. Until the early 1860s Thomas moved
around from the UK to Sicily working for the newspaper business and eventually marrying and having five children. Thomas was a very politically
engaged person, living through the American Civil War in his prime. Some of his art during this time earned him a generous amount of fame.
Before Mr. Nast was ever born, there was a New York democratic political establishment in place called
that eventually grew to consume just about every corner of New York City. Through
the evolution of control, Tammany Hall and the people within it developed to be major influences, politically, financially and socially through the
Enter William Tweed
, a man of large stature who did a bunch of odd jobs until he eventually
became a Mason and a volunteer firefighter. In those times being a firefighter carried a lot of weight, you can imagine the support behind
firefighters after the unfortunate events that happened in New York on September 11, 2001. Back then, structures were not made like they were today
and much more prone to catching fire and enveloping a large area, everywhere was a 9/11 scale disaster waiting to happen (comparably by population
ratio, etc). It didn't help that these Fire departments competed with each other for political weight, control and responsibility; the irony is that
buildings often burned down because of the irresponsible feuds going on between depts.
Well Mr. Tweed wasn't such a nice guy on the inside apparently, known for his violent tendencies. Tweed was invited into the political community and
scrambled around a bit before being elected into the house of representatives. He moved quickly up the ranks, opening up his own illegitimate law firm
and rising to the top of New York Cities political elite and even taking control of the media. Sound familiar? That's right, the same thing is
happening to us now in our modern time.
By 1871 Tweed and his ring of friends had virtually taken control of the city of New York. Railroads, newspapers, property entitlements... you name
it. Tweed used independent contractors that were his associates to embezzle money from tax payers, among a host of other corruption and misdealings
some we probably don't even know about to this day. Tweeds corruption was to such an extent that it could no longer be hidden and it began to spill
out into public knowledge... the people "knew", they just didn't have and could not get "proof".
Thomas Nast facilitated this "people's knowledge" with cartoons, everyone knew what he was implying and they knew what was going on. In 1871 Mr. Nast
conducted a propaganda campaign against Tammany Hall and Tweed in the form of mere cartoons. His cartoons become so widespread and conducted so much
attention that Mr. Tweed himself said: "I don't care so much about the papers", "Stop those damn cartoons!". It was taking effect.
In the wake of the Orange riots of 1971
, New York City was rife with partisan violence and chaos.
Things had reached a breaking point, Tweed offered Nast a hefty bribe of $100,000 (you can imagine how much that was then) to leave NYC and study art
abroad in Europe, eventually increasing this amount up to $500,000.
In response to this Thomas Nast, a man of principle, simply said:
"I don't think I'll do it."
That's it. That was the spark that developed into a fire that toppled a corrupt empire... "No, I'm not going to do that". The books began to be
examined, people started to figure out what was going on, the Orange Riot changed everything even though it really didn't have much to do with the
corruption. Strange isn't it? How something like that, that doesn't appear to even relate to the wrongdoing in question can open the eyes of people to
a real problem. It really makes you think about the Tea party/Occupy movement/NATO protests/etc and how they "don't seem to be protesting the real
problem", how they "are misguided and unorganized". This is true nature of chaos, unpredictability and randomness that can take great effect once it
becomes focused and stones are overturned. All things came together not through order, but chaos.
Under immense pressure beginning to come from multiple fronts, Tweed was thrown in jail where he escaped and attempted to flee to Spain. He was
captured later, extradited to America where he eventually died in the Ludlow Street Jail, a fitting end for such a corrupt and greedy man who would
trample on others for his own personal gain. I wonder if he was able to see through his anger and understand why and where he deviated from a
righteous cause, if he was ever there in the first place.
I admit this story is biased towards Thomas Nast, as I see him as an everyday hero. He was only a small part in what brought down Tammany Hall and
edit on 4-6-2012 by RSF77 because: (no reason given)