Beyond Future Imperfect – Part 5: Politics, War, and Medicine What Are They Good For? Absolutely Nothing

We now move on to politics, war, and medicine which kind of go together in regard to subject matter. For one, politics is essential in governing a nation, especially when it pertains to starting or preventing a war. In fact, most conflicts in history usually have economic or political causes, if not all. And since wars usually have a shitload of people killed or injured, medicine will be essential. Not to mention, it’s usually the part of the government to decide whether a nation should have universal healthcare. If you live in the United States, then the answer is no which is so fucking unfair because healthcare is a basic human right and nobody should be denied medical treatment for being poor. Call it Socialism but I call universal healthcare a basic human decency and morally non-negotiable. Healthcare is not a commodity, America. Okay, sorry about that, but I have very strong opinions on this subject. Same with war and guns which I hate because they tend to inflict carnage that preventable and unnecessary. Anyway, without further adieu, I give you my fifth installment of predictions that never came true in the realm of governing, war, and health.

Politics? Quit Your Whining

Official_portrait_of_Barack_Obama

And they said this guy wouldn’t win a single primary against Hillary in 2008. Man, that guy must be quite a long shot, whatever happened to him? Oh, wait, he became President.

“It will be years — not in my time — before a woman will become Prime Minister.” — Margaret Thatcher, 1974. (Thatcher would become Britain’s first and only female prime minister 5 years later and would remain so until 1990.)

“Reagan doesn’t have that presidential look.” – United Artists executive after rejecting Reagan as lead in the 1964 film The Best Man (Apparently, the Republican party and legions of voters thought otherwise in 1980.)

“Democracy will be dead by 1950.”–John Langdon-Davies, A Short History of The Future, 1936. (Democracy still exists though it exists with a lot corruption. But it’s here.)

“Our country has deliberately undertaken a great social and economic experiment, noble in motive and far reaching in purpose.” -– Herbert Hoover, on Prohibition, 1928. (Yes, noble in motive. But far reaching in purpose, not so much. Besides, Prohibition was an economic heyday for moonshiners, bootleggers, speakeasies, and organized crime. Also led to an explosion of alcoholism in women, which wasn’t a big problem before Prohibition since women then were mostly social drinkers.)

“Read my lips: NO NEW TAXES.” –George H. W. Bush, 1988. (Of course, he later had to do the fiscal conservative thing for a war that he had to raise taxes. At least he was sensible.)

“This is the second time in our history that there has come back from Germany to Downing Street peace with honor. I believe it is peace for our time.” -– Neville Chamberlain, British Prime Minister, September 30th, 1938. (To be fair, Chamberlain knew what he was getting into and that peace between Britain and Germany wasn’t going to last since he started planning for war {on Baldwin’s advice}, just to stay on the safe side. And he certainly didn’t underestimate Hitler {and knew he was a danger since 1935}. It was the public who did and they didn’t want to go to war. He just went for appeasement in order to buy more time, look good for the media, as well as the fact it was the only acceptable political option. This was more or less a speech for the cameras and he knew it. But he also knew if he wanted to sell the war later, he couldn’t reject diplomacy. The Brits fell for it.)

“Sensible and responsible women do not want to vote.” –Grover Cleveland, U.S. President, 1905. (Uh, yes, they do you sexist prig who married a trophy wife you raised, which is incredibly creepy. Yes, sensible and responsible women do want the vote. That’s why Wyoming granted universal suffrage in the 1880s.)

“Anyone who thinks it is going to run the government of South Africa lives in cloud-cuckoo land.”- Margaret Thatcher on the African National Congress, 1987. (This party has run the South African government since the 1990s.)

“When the president does it ,that means it is not illegal.”— Richard Nixon, 1977 (Nixon, you still haven’t learned from Watergate, have you?)

“Left-handed incumbents have never been re-elected…so look for a one-term Clinton Presidency.” – TIME, 1992. (Clinton served two terms and so did Obama. So your argument is invalid.)

“If [Hillary Clinton] gets a race against John Edwards and Barack Obama, she’s going to be the nominee. Gore is the only threat to her, then. Barack Obama is not going to beat Hillary Clinton in a single Democratic primary. I’ll predict that right now.” – William Kristol, Fox News, Dec. 17, 2006. (Okay, for one, Gore didn’t run for president in 2008. Second, Barack Obama was elected president that year, which I think explains how that Democratic primary turned out.)

War? Please, Stop Overreacting

AtomicBomb2

Apparently, some expert in explosives says that the atom bomb will never go off. Excuse can anyone tell me why an image of this scares the hell out of people? Should we tell him what happened at Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

“The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosives.” — Admiral William Leahy, U.S. Atomic Bomb Project. (Guess this guy spoke too soon, didn’t he? Because the atomic bombs did go off in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and it basically annihilated them in the process. This is nuclear war is so scary. Some expert in explosives Admiral Leahy turned out to be.)

“Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value.” — Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre. (Tell that to the Red Baron and all the other WWI pilots in their Fokkers and Sopwith Camels.)

“No, it will make war impossible.” – -Hiram Maxim, inventor of the machine gun, in response to the question “Will this gun not make war more terrible?” from Havelock Ellis, an English scientist, 1893 (Havelock Ellis was right because machine guns have made war much more horrific. Hiram Maxim had no idea what his invention would entail.)

“The idea that cavalry will be replaced by these iron coaches is absurd. It is little short of treasonous.” — Comment of Aide-de-camp to Field Marshal Haig, at tank demonstration, 1916 (Modern militaries no longer use cavalry which were already on their way out after the American Civil War.)

“Four or five frigates will do the business without any military force.”-– British prime minister Lord North, on dealing with the rebellious American colonies, 1774. (Uh, I think you might need some more frigates and a military force.)

“They couldn’t hit an elephant at this dist-“ — Last words of Gen. John Sedgwick, spoken as he looked out over the parapet at enemy lines during the Battle of Spotsylvania in 1864. (Spoke too soon, didn’t you?)

“You will be home before the leaves have fallen from the trees.” -– Kaiser Wilhelm, to the German troops, August 1914. (Seems like the Kaiser was way off since WWI lasted for 4 years. Then again, he didn’t say which year.)

“The Americans are good about making fancy cars and refrigerators, but that doesn’t mean they are any good at making aircraft. They are bluffing. They are excellent at bluffing.”–Hermann Goering, Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe, 1942. (Uh, Goering, you might want to take that back.)

“There is no doubt that the regime of Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction. As this operation continues, those weapons will be identified, found, along with the people who have produced them and who guard them.” –General Tommy Franks, March 22nd, 2003. (This one never gets old. Seriously, there were no weapons of mass destruction. And the US came into Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein for nothing.)

“Has there ever been danger of war between Germany and ourselves, members of the same Teutonic race? Never has it even been imagined.”— Andrew Carnegie, 1913 (Guess who the US went to war with 4 years later. Also, in 1941.)

“War between Japan and the United States is not within the realm of reasonable possibility. …A Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor is a strategic impossibility.”— Major George Fielding Eliot, 1938 (Thanks, you just gave Admiral Yamamoto a way to bomb Pearl Harbor 3 years later.)

“The machine gun is a much overrated weapon; two per battalion is more than sufficient.”— General Douglas Haig, 1915 (Two machine guns per battalion isn’t enough for WWI.)

“I do not consider Hitler to be as bad as he is depicted. He is showing an ability that is amazing and he seems to be gaining his victories without much bloodshed.”— Mahatma Gandhi, 1940 (Uh, Gandhi, we don’t consider Hitler that bad because he gains victories without much bloodshed. It has more to do with the rounding up of millions of Jews and other undesirables to concentration camps and having them killed for no reason. You know, genocide.)

“I also lay aside all ideas of any new works or engines of war, the invention of which long-ago reached its limit, and in which I see no hope for further improvement…-“- Sextus Julius Frontinus, governor of Britania, 84 C.E. (I see plenty since I no longer live at a time where most people fight with swords, spears, and shields.)

“…transport by railroad car would result in the emasculation of our troops and would deprive them of the option of the great marches which have played such an important role in the triumph of our armies.”– Dominique Francois Arago (1786-1853) (As we found out in the American Civil War, railroads actually made moving supplies and troops much easier.)

“I do not myself think that any civilized nation will torpedo unarmed and defenceless merchant ships.”–Charles Cooper Penrose-Fitzgerald, Admiral Royal Navy, Strand Magazine, July, 1914, page 20. (Guess what happened in both world wars. Also see what happened to the HMS Lusitania.)

“Atomic energy might be as good as our present-day explosives, but it is unlikely to produce anything very much more dangerous.” Winston Churchill, 1939. (Uh, Winston, you might be shitting your pants upon seeing a mushroom cloud in the movie newsreels 6 years later.)

“No matter what happens, the U.S. Navy is not going to be caught napping.” – U.S. Secretary of Navy, December 4, 1941. (So what were you doing at Pearl Harbor 3 days later? You know, before the Japanese surprised you by bombing it?)

“Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.” – Dick Cheney August 26, 2002. (Really, Cheney? Because US Intelligence never found any. Iraq was a mistake.)

“[The Joint Intelligence Committee] concludes that Iraq has chemical and biological weapons, that Saddam has continued to produce them, that he has existing and active military plans for the use of chemical and biological weapons, which could be activated within 45 minutes, including against his own Shia population, and that he is actively trying to acquire nuclear weapons capability.” – Tony Blair, 2002. (For one, Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction by then. Second, how could he have plans to use them if he didn’t have them in the first place?)

Medicine? Sorry, There’s Nothing We Can Do About That

X-ray

So, Lord Kelvin, you tell me that X-Rays are a hoax. Nevertheless, can you tell me what this is and how it was produced? I think x-rays have something to do with it but I’m not sure.

“Louis Pasteur’s theory of germs is ridiculous fiction.” — Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, 1872. (Someone get this guy a microscope. Because Pasteur’s theories on germs are scientific gospel.)

“The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon.” — Sir John Eric Ericksen, British surgeon, appointed Surgeon-Extraordinary to Queen Victoria 1873. (Obviously, he had no idea that 20th century would see development in chest splitting and brain surgery that we have a board game based on it.)

“If excessive smoking actually plays a role in the production of lung cancer, it seems to be a minor one.” – -W.C. Heuper, National Cancer Institute, 1954 (“Minor” in that smoking is the #1 cause of lung cancer that has killed millions of people. Nevertheless, tobacco is known to kill a third of its users each year.)

“That virus is a pussycat.” -– Dr. Peter Duesberg, molecular-biology professor at U.C. Berkeley, on HIV, 1988. (HIV is the farthest thing from a pussycat as we speak since it destroys your immune system before it kills you.)

“The abolishment of pain in surgery is a chimera. It is absurd to go on seeking it today.”—Dr. Alfred Velpeau, surgeon professor, Paris Faculty of Medicine, 1837 (Obviously, hasn’t seen the development of anesthesia and my Uncle Marty’s profession, anesthesiologist.)

“X-rays will prove to be a hoax.” — Lord Kelvin, President of the Royal Society, 1883. (Apparently, some scientists didn’t think so and they were right.)

“A certain Liquor which they call Coffee…which will soon intoxicate the brain.” — G. W. Parry (1601) (Coffee is a caffeinated drink. It’s not a liquor. Unless you’re talking about Four Loko which has alcohol and caffeine.)

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