Friday, November 20, 2009

Eating his way into the hearts of his countrymen

Today Minus 100 Years:

The Circuit Court in Missouri orders Standard Oil of NJ dissolved for acting as an illegal combination in restraint of trade. Like that’s a bad thing.

Secretary of State Knox says of the execution in Nicaragua of the Americans aiding the revolutionists, “this Government will not for one moment tolerate such treatment of American citizens.” The mercenaries Grace and Cannon were laying mines to blow up Nicaraguan ships.

Supreme Court Justice David J. Brewer writes in Ladies’ World that women’s suffrage will, eventually, come to the US (beyond the four states that already have it, that is). He doesn’t think it will debase the home. However, he says, something that is an abstract right isn’t always wise to implement, suggesting that the 15th Amendment giving the suffrage to black people might have been one such thing. And definitely not in the Philippines or certain other dark-hued places he could name.

Justice Brewer also warns suffragists not to emulate the methods of the “fighting Amazons” of England. Good luck with that: Alice Paul of Philadelphia was even as he spoke (okay, maybe not literally, time difference and all) being force-fed in a British prison during a one-month sentence for breaking a window at the Lord Mayor’s banquet.

William Jennings Bryan is about to mount a campaign to push the Democratic Party to implement prohibition, beginning with Nebraska. Bryan believes that the liquor interests schemed against him in the past and that he can ride a movement against them into the Senate or even the White House. The NYT thinks it is more likely he will tear the party apart. Bryan is writing a series of articles that will be published while he is conveniently out of the country.

The recent Taft tour of the country saw him “eat his way into the hearts of his countrymen,” chowing down on “the most remarkable assortment of meals ever conceived in the brains of chefs,” according to an entire page devoted to the subject in the Sunday paper. The prohibitionist governor of Alabama served a banquet, gasp, without alcohol of any kind. The guests were not best pleased and when Gov. Comer made a joke about becoming ambassador to China, there was a “roar of approval.” Taft himself was evidently teetotal. Attendees of the banquet in Savannah took all the rather expensive plates and silverware and whatnot as souvenirs. Despite all this sumptuous dining, it is reported that Taft did not suffer from dyspepsia during the 57-day tour.

Egyptian deities?

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