Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Today -100: August 31, 1911: Of neutrality, fans, and gala picnics

Belgium is preparing for war, creating a military council to determine how to keep France, Germany and/or Britain from violating its borders if they go to war with each other over Morocco. Shells and ammunition has been sent to frontier forts, and artillery and machine guns to posts on the German border. Good luck with the whole neutrality thing, Belgium, you’ll need it.

General Electric has just finished making the most expensive electric fan ever, gold-mounted with an ebony switch. It’s for Queen Mary.

Mississippi has its first public hanging in 35 years (the NYT says that in the South, “executions are universally private and as far removed from the public gaze as possible”. Suuuuure they are.). You’ll be surprised and amazed to hear it’s a black man, who killed his wife. Stands were set up around the scaffold to sell the crowd sandwiches, coffee, lemonade, peanuts and everything else you need to make a day of it. “It was more like a gala picnic than the dispatching of a soul to eternity.”

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

This can’t possibly go horribly, horribly wrong

Indy: “Israeli Military to Equip Jewish Settlers with Gas and Grenades.”

Every single one

Today, Obama spoke to the American Legion’s annual conference. He found something good to say about every war every member of the Legion might have fought in. Here are his remarks about Vietnam:
When communist forces in Vietnam unleashed the Tet Offensive, it fueled the debate here at home that raged over that war. You, our Vietnam veterans, did not always receive the respect that you deserved —- which was a national shame. But let it be remembered that you won every major battle of that war. Every single one.
So yay for our triumph in Vietnam.

Still Dick

On the Today show, Dick Cheney explains the continuing benefits of having invaded Iraq: “What would’ve happened this week if Moammar Gadhafi had still been in power with a nuclear weapon in Libya? Would he have fled? I doubt it.” The logic is impeccable. The logic also gives the credit for Qaddafi’s ouster to Bush ‘n Cheney rather than Obama or the Libyan people.

Invading Iraq was “sound policy” because Saddam Hussein was “a major source of proliferation” [of weapons to terrorists]. He still offers no proof of that. And the war did not damage the US’s reputation.

Asked whether the US, having waterboarded people, could complain when another nation waterboarded an American citizen it suspected of being a spy, Cheney said, “We probably would object to it on the ground that we have obligations to our citizens and we do everything we can to protect our citizens. I think we would object because we wouldn’t expect an American citizen to be operating that way.” This is not a double standard, he explained, because the people we tortured, well, “These are not American citizens.” Not sure why he thinks other countries would accept the proposition that Americans, and only Americans, are too good for waterboarding.

He added, “I would argue that it’s important for us not to get caught up in the notion that you can only have popular methods of interrogation if you want to run an effective counterterrorism program.” Yes, that’s the problem with waterboarding: it’s not “popular.”

Today -100: August 30, 1911: The hope of the negro

In a speech in Virginia, Taft says that “those of us who study the question at all know that the hope of the negro is in his white neighbor in the South. ... the negro ought to come, and is coming, more and more under the guardianship of the South.”

Las Vegas, “a town hitherto devoid of large fame,” is thinking about setting up a divorce colony to rival Reno’s.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Chip chip chip

The British government is following the lead of American anti-abortion states like South Dakota by stripping the funding for abortion counseling conducted by groups that also provide abortions and shifting the funding to counseling conducted by Catholic and other anti-abortion groups. Because the Tories are all about offering women “independent” advice and information. And eroding their rights incrementally.

Today -100: August 29, 1911: Of trusts and ’roos behaving badly

Headline of the Day -100: “BATHTUB TRUST KILLED.; Government Also Reaches an Agreement with the Electrical Trust.” I hope they didn’t fiddle with the electrical trust while they were in the bathtub trust, because that would just be dangerous.

The battleship Wisconsin has fired its mascot, a kangaroo named Murphy, for “bad behavior.”

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Today -100: August 28, 1911: Of Huckleberries and Hamburgers

Headline of the Day -100: “Huckleberries’ Pow-Wow.” There’s a Native American tribe called Huckleberries?

Mmm, Hamburgers: Headline: “Kaiser for More Navy. To Keep for Germany Her Due Place, He Tells Hamburgers.” In fact, the phrase he used is “the place in the sun that is our due.” We may be hearing more of that phrase from Germany in the future.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Today -100: August 27, 1911: Of real fires, fake fires, and non-existent canals

William Van Schaick, captain of the paddle steamer General Slocum when it caught fire in the East River in 1904, killing over 1,000 people on their way to a church picnic, is paroled after serving 2½ years for criminal negligence.

It really is a bad idea to shout fire in a crowded theatre. Some drunk does so in a movie theatre in Canonsburg, PA, and 28 people die in the stampede. There was no fire.

Interplanetary News of the Day -100: “Martians Build Two Immense Canals in Two Years.” According to astronomer Percival Lowell, who should know. Each of the canals is 1,000 miles long and 20 miles wide. Which certainly puts the Panama Canal into perspective.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Today -100: August 26, 1911: Of beards & bridges

When he was 21, Jonas Pendleton of Saybrook, CT, vowed never to shave his beard until there was a bridge over the Connecticut River linking Saybrook and Lyme. Now just such a bridge has opened, so Pendleton, now 81, marched off to the barber shop, but it was closed because everyone in town was watching the bridge-opening ceremonies. The next day, however, everyone in town was on hand to witness him being shaved.

The people of Saybrook, Connecticut really needed to get a life, is what I’m saying.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

State Rep. Phil Hinkle (R-Ind) insists he didn’t pay rent boy to fill his hinkle

Actually, the post title is really all I wanted to say about the story.

Today -100: August 25, 1911: Of lynchings, block-busting, and hoboes

A negro accused of attacking a white woman is burned to death by a mob in Purcell, Oklahoma. The twist: he was captured by three black guys and turned over to the mob.

There was a report a day or two ago about an apartment building in Harlem that displayed a red T in its “To Let” sign, a coded signal that only negroes would be rented to. At the same time, the building started evicting its white tenants. The NYT notes that “Race prejudice in this city is capitalized, and this is the way the colored folk reap the rewards of the prejudice.” The way race prejudice is “capitalized” is that the building’s owner is blackmailing neighboring landlords with the threat of letting blacks move into a previously white street. Either they buy his building from him for more than its market value, or they’ll wind up selling their own properties to negro speculators at a ¼ discount. The Times suggests fighting such tactics by voluntary agreements of property-holders in a neighborhood not to rent to blacks. Problem solved.

Hoboes plan a 2,000-bum march on Washington to demand free national employment bureaus. If they can get there, that is. The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad is refusing to provide transportation (free transportation in box cars, naturally).

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Quote of the Day, Sexology Division

From that NYT article about bisexuality being “real”: Ellyn Ruthstrom of the Bisexual Resource Center: “Researchers want to fit bi attraction into a little box”.

I’ll bet they do, I’ll bet they do.


Japan’s prime minister will resign, after Japan’s debt is downgraded. Didn’t do it when caught repeatedly lying about exposure to radiation.

Qaddafi: “All youth, men and women should go out to cleanse their areas from the rats.” Seems like an odd time to be worried about rats.

Juan Cole has some helpful advice on “How to Avoid Bush’s Iraq Mistakes in Libya.” #3. “Some Libyans are complaining about the prospect of retaining the same police as in the old regime, and want local security committees instead. A compromise would be to establish a strong civilian oversight over police.” The old police were hired, and promoted, solely on their ability to keep the Qaddafi regime in power. That’s their skill set. But forgive and forget, I guess. #6. “Consult with Norway about how it is possible for an oil state to remain a democracy.” Yes, if only Qaddafi had consulted more with Norway, none of this unpleasantness would have arisen. And, of course, #9: “Recognize Berber as a national language.” Or possibly Norwegian. I don’t know how Libya has survived without Juan Cole’s advice up until now.

Today -100: August 24, 1911: Of lynch mobs, missing enigmatic smiles, pogroms, and bitter Bleases

The authorities in Pennsylvania have been quite serious about prosecuting not just members of the Coatesville lynch mob who burned Zack Walter alive earlier this month, but also the spectators who did nothing to stop the lynching.

Police are investigating the disappearance of the Mona Lisa. They’re searching every crevice of the Louvre (which is closed to the public for the duration) because they’re convinced the painting couldn’t have left the building, say, just to give a fer-instance, under an employee’s coat.

The anti-Jewish riots continue in south Wales. The Times correspondent helpfully explains the cause: “It is just the spirit of indiscipline run riot.” And it’s Socialism’s fault.

Headline of the Day -100: “Gov. Blease Feels Bitter.” That’s Gov. Coleman Blease of South Carolina, who recently ordered that a history book being used in SC schools be re-written. At a convention of Confederate veterans, he complains that “some of the newspapers said that I was trying to dictate to the writer. I insisted upon putting into your histories in your schools that that infamous scoundrel Sherman and his army burned Columbia.” (In fact, that was and is far from being an established historical fact.) Blease also criticized Sen. Heyburn (R-Idaho), who opposed federal funds being spent on a monument to the Confederate dead at Vicksburg. Blease said it was beyond his comprehension how a Southerner in Congress could hear the Confederacy called an “infamous cause” without rising and calling the speaker a liar.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I call dibs

I can totally see myself wearing this while shopping at Trader Joe’s.

Today -100: August 23, 1911: Of missing enigmatic smiles

The Mona Lisa has been stolen from the Louvre. This “has caused such a sensation that Parisians for the time being have forgotten the rumors of war.”

China, according to the LAT, “is planning to allow the office of Dalai Llama of Thibet to lapse by not authorizing the reincarnation of a successor”.

Headline of the Day -100: “Will Try to Force Grout to Testify.” That’s Edward M. Grout, former president of the Union Bank of Brooklyn.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Biden in Mongolia

Some snaps from Joe’s visit to Mongolia. Sadly, he does not seem to have put on any amusing native headwear, but rather made Prime Minister Sukhbaatar Batbold wear what appears to be a vice-presidential baseball cap. And did he actually ride that camel, for our entertainment? He did not.

Rick Perry is fed up, part 4

This is the fourth and final post on Rick Perry’s 2010 book Fed Up! (First post here, second post here, third post here).

Chapter 8 (“Standing Athwart History Not Doing a Damned Thing”) turns its attention to the Republicans, who aren’t fighting hard enough for tiny government. By merely trying to be less bad than Democrats, they are conceding. Other words Perry uses: capitulation, not standing up and fighting. He doesn’t see the job of politicians at the federal level as having anything to do with, you know, governing.

“Elected Democrats... simply no longer represent the values of the American people I know.” This is a bit awkward for Perry, because he has to explain that he was a D until 1989 (when he was nearly 40), and the historical chapters of this book have been dumping on everything the party has done since well before he was born. So he does that “I didn’t leave the party, the party left me” thing, but he says that it’s no longer the party of Andrew freaking Jackson, but has become the party of Roosevelt, Kennedy and Obama.

Bush’s “Compassionate Conservatism” sent the wrong signal that conservatism alone wasn’t sufficient or was somehow flawed. And Bush didn’t fight hard enough for fiscal conservatism.

Chapter 9 (“States Do the Work of the People”) argues that states do much better for the people than the federal government does. For example, dealing with the Katrina refugees? All Texas.

The feds stopped Gov Jindal responding to the BP oil spill with that stupid barrier idea. “Maybe Governor Jindal was right. Or maybe he was wrong... I don’t much care. Because as the guy on the ground trying to protect the people of his state, I tend to defer to Jindal’s judgment... It is his home, after all.” Perry doesn’t much care if Jindal actually knew what the hell he was doing.

Chapter 10 (“Retaking the Reins of Government: Freedom and Federalism for the Future”) is the conclusion, filled with every right-wing cliché he hasn’t already pounded into the ground: restore our founding principles, birthright as Americans, God-fearing people, last, best hope.

He wants a federal government “that focuses on the few things for which it is empowered and well suited – such as national defense, border enforcement, and foreign commerce” and wants Congress to meet a lot less often, just like the Texas Legislature.

WHAT HE SEES: “I see a people who can pray in their schools as they wish, and towns across America that can publicly celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or nothing at all.”

I’M PRETTY SURE COURTS DON’T REALLY TELL FETUSES WHAT IS RIGHT AND WHAT IS WRONG: “I see a world in which the unborn are allowed a chance at life unfettered by an activist court telling them what is right and what is wrong.”

He’s against racism, by which he means affirmative action, “flawed incarnations of the Voting Rights Act,” or a “race-based Native Hawaiian government.”

The future of America depends on reversing Obamacare. “Now, some Republicans seem to be hung up on the notion that we must be ‘for’ something and must indicate so by saying that we will ‘repeal and replace’ the legislation. That is such inside-the-Beltway nonsense and only confuses the issue for voters.”

States have to stop blindly accepting money from Washington, and aren’t bound to enforce federal law. He brings up medical marijuana in California again. He brings it up a lot, and it’s always California, although... hey Google?... 16 states have it now.

WHEN HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A REPUBLICAN TELL YOU THEY FEEL GUILTY ABOUT ANYTHING? “politicians with power seek more of it. The difference between Republicans and Democrats is that Republicans will tell you they feel guilty about it.”

He wants a Constitutional amendment limiting spending, maybe a repeal of the 16th Amendment in favor of a national sales tax, term limits for judges, allowing Congress to override Supreme Court rulings on a 2/3 vote, and a series of “clarifying” amends, for example to restrict the meaning of the 14th Amendment. For someone who talks about the Founders and the original meaning of the Constitution, he sure wants to rewrite an awful lot of it.

Perry shares with Michele Bachmann the belief that all the policies he disagrees with are unconstitutional. Sorta leaves no room for negotiation.

The line that comes back to me is the one about how if you don’t want to be ruled by someone who shoots coyotes while jogging, you should just move out of Texas. I can’t wait to hear his answer when someone asks him – assuming someone other than me ever reads this book, and dear god why would they – what he suggests those people do if he becomes president.

Today -100: August 22, 1911: Of Welsh pogroms and concrete wars

Anti-Jewish rioting in Newport, Wales, with many shops destroyed. Unclear why.

Headline of the Day -100: “To War on Concrete.” The Greater New York Brickmakers’ Association of the Hudson Valley has declared war on concrete, claiming it’s not as fireproof as brick.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Rick Perry is fed up, part 3

This is the third post on Rick Perry’s 2010 book Fed Up! (First post here, second post here). Last post tomorrow.

Chapter 4 (“Washington is Bankrupting America”) is about debt debt debt, spending spending spending. It doesn’t say anything you haven’t heard from every Tea Bagger for the last umpteen months.

“Emboldened by the brazen [Perry’s use of adjectives is fun] abandonment of limited government under the New Deal and subsequent regimes [regimes!], from the Great Society to the current administration, Washington is steering America down a path to destruction.” Oh noes!

Social Security has “finally reached its tipping point. No more free lunch.” Did you know Social Security has been a free lunch up until now? Well it has, evidently. Perry likes to use the term “illegal Ponzi scheme” to describe it. “Deceptive accounting has hoodwinked the American public into thinking that Social Security is a retirement system and financially sound, when clearly it is not.” The Social Security Trust Fund “must be somewhere in Al Gore’s lockbox, right next to his notes from inventing the Internet and that global cooling data he doesn’t want anyone to see.”

Chapter 5 (“No American Left Alone: Health Care, Education, the Environment, and the Tyranny of the Modern Administrative State”) is about the evils of the feds telling states what to do.

CECI N’EST PAS HYPERBOLE: Obamacare “will make any current bureaucracy seem trivial and will destroy our nation’s health care system in the process.” He adds, “This is not hyperbole”.

And yes, he insists, there are death panels.

He doesn’t like No Child Left Behind. “The academic standards of Texas are not for sale. We will retain our sovereign authority to decide how to educate our children.” If, Rick, I think you meant to say if.

The EPA is “destroying federalism and individuals’ ability to make their own economic decisions.” Texas deals with air pollution just fine. Al Gore/global warming is “all one contrived phony mess that is falling apart under its own weight.” Weight, geddit? Cuz Al Gore is fat.

Chapter 6 (“Nine Unelected Judges Tell Us How to Live”) is about how the Supreme Court “arrogantly chooses to hide behind the Constitution while it implements its own policy choices” and forces Texas to “kiss the ring of the Court.” Which just sounds dirty.

If Perry sees a very, very limited legitimate role for the federal government, I’m not sure I saw any limits he accepts on the states “telling us how to live.” He complains that the Supreme Court forced on Texas legalized abortions, having to educate the children of illegal aliens, legalized sodomy, no prayers at football games, legalized contraception etc. And it has the nerve to tell Texas not to execute the people it wants to execute.

Perry’s not really saying that Texas should ban sodomy and contraception – that’s not the subject of the book – but he sure isn’t saying that it shouldn’t and thinks that these are things for the states, or as he puts it, “the people,” to determine.

AND WE WOULD HAVE GOTTEN AWAY WITH IT IF IT WEREN’T FOR YOU MEDDLING STATISTS: “We Texans like our guns. We don’t like meddlesome statists who want to infringe on our right to keep and bear them.”

Chapter 7 (“The Federal Government Fiddles: Ignoring National Security, Immigration, and the Enumerated Powers”) argues that the feds aren’t doing the few things Perry thinks they should do, especially their “unwillingness to secure our nation’s border.” Note the singular: Perry’s forgotten that the US has more than one border.

Mexican drug cartels are terrorists, terrorists I tell you!

THE WRONG KIND OF EXPLOSION, I GUESS: We’re not spending enough on the military, because of “the explosion of entitlement spending”

Obama’s 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review spent a full three pages on climate change. A full three pages!

The bullets of freedom

Quote of the Day: “If you can call any mobile number in Tripoli, you will hear in the background the beautiful sound of the bullets of freedom.”

Wacky Quote of the Day: Qaddafi, quoted in the same article, accuses world leaders of giving rebels “weapons to destroy our air-conditioners.”

Today -100: August 21, 1911: Of sprinklers and mobs

Post-Triangle Fire, the NYC fire commissioner says he will order fire sprinklers installed in 200 or so buildings.

A black preacher in Donaldsonville, Georgia killed a marshal. This is naturally followed by three days (so far) of rampaging by bands of whites throughout three counties, whipping and murdering any black person they can find, burning their churches and schools. The whites think the blacks were all involved in a conspiracy to murder the marshal because he’d been raiding their lodge meetings; the actual killer was chosen by lot or something, according to this rumor. The sheriffs of the affected counties couldn’t – or wouldn’t – stop the mobs, and refused to ask the governor to send troops. Most negroes have fled the area.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Today -100: August 20, 1911: That’s what it’s all about

Macabre-Ironic Headline of the Day -100: “UPLIFT LEADER A SUICIDE.; Frank Darst Throws Himself from a Milwaukee Hospital Window.”

Congress passes a statehood bill for Arizona and New Mexico, amended to meet Taft’s objections. It now requires the people of Arizona to repeal the provision for the recall of judges. They will vote on this at the same time as the elections for state officials, but if they vote the wrong way – no statehood. Something like the no-polygamy provision of the Utah constitution. And New Mexico will be required to make it easier to amend its constitution.

Three negroes are lynched in Jakin, Georgia, by a mob infuriated by the murder of the town marshal. Which the lynching victims had nothing to do with.

Papers read at a meeting of the British Dental Association – stop laughing – say that the human race is becoming ugly due to mouth-breathing. Which might explain why the Habsburgs look that way.

The British military will deploy war dogs” in a... dispute in British India with the Abors of Assam. Airedales, who will serve as scouts and sentries.

Headline of the Day -100: “Killed By ‘Hokey Pokey.’” Evidently hokey pokey is some sort of ice cream. Not a flavor but a type: cheap crap sold by street vendors. In this case, with ptomaine poisoning.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Rick Perry is fed up, part 2

Continuing with Rick Perry’s 2010 book Fed Up! (First post here.) Chapters 2 & 3 today.

In chapter 2, he explains that the Founders gave Congress neither police power or the power “to make decisions about morality for the American people.” No, that’s for the states. Rick Perry is not a limited government guy, he’s a limited federal government guy.

Indeed, he’s even willing to let Massachusetts be Massachusetts: “I would no more consider living in Massachusetts than I suspect a great number of folks from Massachusetts would like to live in Texas.” Why, Massachusetts elects people like Ted Kennedy, Kerry, Barney Frank, while Texas elects folks like Perry, the kind of guy who jogs packing a Ruger .380 with laser sights, loaded with hollow-point bullets and shoots a coyote.

That’s not me saying that, that’s Rick Perry (p.27).

And under federalism, we have the right to exercise our liberty by moving to a state that better matches our preferences. That’s Rick Perry’s notion of liberty. He doesn’t seem to know the difference between a small 17th century Puritan colony and a gigantic state with a population of 25 million.

Indeed, population growth has rather undermined his discussion about how the Founders saw that people couldn’t control a national government in a country with a population of 4 million (1790), but could control their state governments.

With all this states’ rights talk, he has to address slavery. He notes that half the states were free and had the Underground Railroad. “This was federalism, or certainly local control, in action.” Actually, it was organized law-breaking, but whatever.

chapter 3 is about how the growth of the federal government’s powers came about. 1) judicial over-reach, 2) those darned Populists, 3) the New Deal, 4) the Great Society. Along the way he explains that the robber barons the Populists reacted against were great job-creators, that the New Deal was a failure, and that the 16th and 17th Amendments (income tax, popular election of the Senate) were wrong, and that Social Security sucks. It’s pretty much a cut & paste job from a variety of right-wing, non-academic sources (there are footnotes).


Indian anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare arrested because he refused to accept police conditions for the permit his “fast unto death.”

Hunger striking in India requires a permit.

Today -100: August 18, 1911: Tell us something we don’t know

Headline of the Day -100: “Chicago Likes Pigs’ Feet.” They eat 40 million a year. But not rich Chicagoans.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Rick Perry is fed up. Pardon me: Fed Up Exclamation Point. (I read Rick Perry’s book so you don’t have to)

Yes, I’m reading Rick Perry’s Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America from Washington (2010). It is his second book, following the smash success of On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts Are Worth Fighting For.

I’ll do this in multiple posts as I read the book. This post covers the preface and chapter 1. Er, I may not be able to read all of it before family obligations and/or nausea intervene.

To start with the title: Do you trust any politician who uses an exclamation point in the title of their book? Me neither. “Fed Up” (Fed in red, Up! in blue) might be kind of a pun, although I’m not sure Rick Perry is that subtle. “Our” fight assumes that he’s writing not a persuasive book, but one aimed at people who already agree with him. The notion of saving America from Washington entails the belief that “Washington” is some alien usurper, and that “America” is in no way responsible for creating the perceived ills associated with “Washington.”

Anyone mind if I skip the foreword by Newt Gingrich? Good.

“It wasn’t so long ago that we were expected to pay our bills, we were able to pray at the town meeting, and we believed it was important to rely on ourselves or our families rather than government.”

He is definitely not writing this book because he seeks higher office. Put that right out of your head.

First sentence of ch. 1: “Something is terribly wrong.”

Here’s that first person plural again: “We sense that our way of life and, perhaps more importantly, our ability to decide how we shall live, is no longer in our control but in the control of an increasingly powerful and oppressive national government – a government run by people who simply do not share our values or our beliefs and blatantly ignore its limits.”

He’s talked to lots of people “and I can tell you one thing from certain: the American people are fed up.”

Evidently the government tells us how much salt we can put on our food.

And of course “what kind of guns we can own, what kind of prayers we are allowed to say and where we can say them, what political speech we are allowed to use to elect candidates” etc.

He uses the word chutzpah, which is I believe a Texan expression. Evidently the federal gov has the chutzpah to haul baseball players before congressional committees. Also something about Stephen Colbert.

Oh, several pages of things “we” are “fed up” with.

In fact, we are fed up with being told not to say that America is great, like some sort of cowboy, and what’s so bad about being a cowboy?

Americans are “a diverse people – incapable of being governed from a faraway capital by people who do not share our values.” So we’re diverse, except our values are the same, and they’re not the same as those of anyone in Washington. Gotcha.

In fact, values are geographically distributed, so the federal government should stick to national security “while we live in states with like-minded people who share our values and beliefs. Crucial to understanding federalism in modern-day America is the concept of mobility, or ‘the ability to vote with your feet.’ If you don’t support the death penalty and citizens packing a pistol, don’t come to Texas. If you don’t like medicinal marijuana and gay marriage, don’t move to California.” Texas, love it or leave it. So I guess he supports diversity, but not within states. What’s the term for values-based ethnic cleansing?

The “assault” on the Constitution and federalism comes from 1) “those who believe in the primacy of the government over the individual, referred to as liberals...” – yes, I’m sure that’s exactly how John Stuart Mill defined the term. “ Progressives, or statists.” Evidently these people don’t believe in the things that made the US the greatest nation blah blah.

And 2) the statists’ enablers, old-guard Republicans.

In his list of things Republicans believe is “protecting innocent life.” Isn’t it interesting that every one of you reading that knows he means fetuses, and only fetuses?

(Click on the Rick Perry label at the bottom of this post for part 2 and beyond.)

I make no apologies for being reasonable

Yesterday, Barack Obama spoke at a “town hall meeting” in Iowa, because he heard about the foot-long corn dogs, I guess.

Speaking of foot-long corn dogs, here’s the new $1.1 million presidential bus.

Black? Seriously? Is it left over from the Cheney Administration?

The town hall was held in Decorah, Iowa, at the “Seed Savers Exchange,” which just sounds kinky.

HE’S ASSUMING THERE ARE NO IMMIGRANTS IN IOWA. PROBABLY RIGHT. “And so as tough as things are, all of us are incredibly blessed to have been born in the United States of America.”

WHAT THE PROBLEM WE HAVE ISN’T: “See, the problem we have is not with our country; the problem is that our politics is broken.” Gee, it sounds too me like having broken politics would actually be a problem with our country.

OBAMA CAN TOTALLY TALK TO THE YOUNG PEOPLE, YOU CAN TELL BY HIS USE OF YOOF SLANG LIKE “SHENANIGANS”: “I see a lot of young people in the audience here today, and they’re thinking about what are their prospects for the future -- graduating from college knowing they’ve got a lot of debt, needing to find a job. They don’t have patience for the kind of shenanigans we’ve been seeing on Capitol Hill.”

AND THAT’S WHY YOU’RE TOOLING AROUND IOWA IN A GIANT CAMPAIGN BUS: “Well, you know what, you guys didn’t send us there to be thinking about our jobs. You sent us there to be thinking about your jobs and your future.”

SOLVE THIS PROBLEM WE COULD: “If everybody is willing to make some modest sacrifices, this problem we could solve.”

Then he quotes Warren Buffet on how billionaires should be taxed more. Funnily enough, Warren Buffet is still the only billionaire he can find saying this.

WHEREIN HE IMPLIES THAT DEMOCRATS ARE BEING JUST AS UNREASONABLE AS REPUBLICANS, AND THAT THE ONLY PROGRAMS HE’S AGREED TO CUT ARE ONES THAT AREN’T WORKING: “Now, that doesn’t mean that we defend every single government program. Everybody has got to make sacrifices; there are programs that aren’t working well. And sometimes there are those in my party who will defend everything, even if it’s not working.”

On the Republican presidential candidates refusal at the last debate to accept a 10:1 ratio of cuts to taxes: “And what that tells me is, okay, you’ve gotten to the point where you’re just thinking about politics, you’re not thinking about common sense.” So you think we just got to that “point” last Thursday?

WHO CAST THEIR BALLOT FOR “DIVIDED GOVERNMENT”? “And so I understand that after this last midterm, you voted for divided government. But you didn’t vote for dysfunctional government. You didn’t vote for a broken government that can’t make any decisions, can’t move the country forward at all.” Well, government does tend to get broken when the attempt to divide it is made by a bunch of crazy people with chainsaws.

Then it’s question time, and Obama shows his common touch by suggesting that his first questioner’s little girl, who had a cookie, shouldn’t have a cookie before dinner. She (the mother, not the girl with the broken arm and the cookie) responded by accusing him of being a crap negotiator who compromised all his key principles.

He says, among other things, that the debt-ceiling situation was “unique,” because the stakes were so high. “I’ve got a whole bunch of responsibilities, which means I have to make choices sometimes that are unattractive and I know will be bad for me politically and I know will get supporters of mine disappointed.” Well, that’s less of a problem every day because there are fewer of those every day.

SUBMISSIVE = RESPECT: Later he says that “I basically let Michelle have 90 percent of what she wants. But at a certain point, I have to draw the line and say, give me my little 10 percent,” before hastily adding that she’s right 90% of the time. Sigh. Now he’s the muddle-headed dad in every stupid sitcom.

He says the increase in partisanship is partly because everyone used to watch Walter Cronkite but now “everybody is on their own little blog or their own separate news forum.” Okay, now he’s gone too fucking far. TOO FUCKING FAR!!!

BECAUSE THAT APPROACH HAS WORKED SO WELL SO FAR: “Now, in terms of how I deal with the current Congress, what I can do is to present my best ideas about how we move the country forward.”

HOW ABOUT FOR BEING A WIMP? “I make no apologies for being reasonable.”

A former high school social studies teacher asked about public sector unions and collective bargaining. He went on at some length about the importance of unions (although mostly in historical terms – giving us the weekend, that sort of thing), before suggesting that teachers have to make “sacrifices,” like their pensions, and that if people “don’t feel like the public sector employers [sic] are making any adjustments whatsoever to reflect the tough economic realities that are facing folks who are not protected, then there’s going to be a natural backlash.” And why don’t they “feel like” public-sector employees are making “adjustments”? Because they’re watching Fox News.

SUDDENLY? “we came in -- you’ve got a bunch of irresponsible actors, both in Washington and on Wall Street, that almost brought this economy to the ground, and suddenly everybody else is paying for it.” Everybody else has been paying for the acts of irresponsible actors in Washington and on Wall Street for as long as there’s been a Washington and a Wall Street.

And then he went out and stole an ice cream cone from a little girl.

The Secret Service are afraid the little girl is coming after them, but Obama is just enjoying the extra sweetness that comes from eating an ice cream cone stolen from a little girl.

Oh, I’m kidding, of course. It’s plain vanilla with no sprinkles or anything, just what Obama would order. Hoping for the equivalent of a Bachmann corn dog photo, the press photogs snapped many pictures of him while he that ice cream cone, but Obama can make even eating delicious stolen ice cream look like serious work.

Today -100: August 17, 1911: Of poultry trusts and silence

13 members of the “Poultry Trust” are sentenced to 3 months in prison (and fines) for conspiracy. The judge told the defendants, “your control of the poultry business was not alone absolute, but despotic.”

The Cherokees plan to sue the US government for $25 million, the value of Cherokee land given to freed black slaves (that is, slaves owned by Cherokees who were given tribal properties to punish the Cherokees for joining the Confederacy) and to whites who married into the tribe.

The first black cop hired by the NYPD, Samuel Battle, is being given the silent treatment by his fellow cops and excluded from their reindeer games.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Today -100: August 16, 1911: Of legalized terrorism, lynchings, annexations, and V rays

As expected, Taft vetoes statehood for New Mexico and Arizona due to the provision in AZ’s constitution for the recall of judges, which Taft said would compel judges to make rulings under “legalized terrorism.” The governor of the New Mexico Territory, William Mills, seems to think that the earlier enabling act and a presidential proclamation mean that the veto doesn’t affect NM statehood, and that if Congress disagrees, it will just have to refuse to seat NM’s congresscritters.

One of the Coatesville, Penn. lynching party has been arrested.

Major Henry Rathbone, the man who shared Lincoln’s box at Ford’s Theater and was stabbed by John Wilkes Booth, and who went insane and killed his wife in 1887, dies in the German insane asylum where he’s been incarcerated ever since.

Miguel Gomez, son of the president of Cuba, was arrested for that little murder attempt yesterday. At first he denied that he was Miguel Gomez, then he claimed he had no memory of the shooting, before finally breaking down and confessing.

The Canadian election campaign begins. Conservative opposition leader R. L. Borden is really campaigning against the looming threat of annexation by the United States.

A French scientist claims to have photographed human thoughts. He did it by first staring really hard at an object (a walking stick in one case, and a bottle), and then staring really hard at a photographic plate, on which an image of the object allegedly appeared. This is due to the power of something he calls V rays. The NYT says, perhaps with a degree of sarcasm: “As the Academy of Sciences is the highest official body of savants in France, and all Commander Darget’s experiments were made in the presence of six witnesses, there seems no doubt as to their authenticity.”

Monday, August 15, 2011

Today -100: August 15, 1911: Of bathtubs, get-away coaches, lynchings, and yachts

Headline of the Day -100: “May Stop Use of Bathtubs.” The New York City water commissioner is threatening to do that because the water supply is low (he would reduce water pressure so people on floors higher than the first floor would have no water).

Miguel Gomez, the son of the president of Cuba fires five shots at Armando Andres, editor of an anti-Gomez newspaper and member of the Cuban Congress. He returns fire. Gomez then “fled in a palace coach”.

Long interesting article about the Coatesville, Penn. lynching and its aftermath.

A black man is lynched in Durant, Oklahoma, for an assault on a white woman who later died. The mob shot him 150 or so times, brought the body to the woman, who identified it, and then burned it. A race war may be imminent. 75 negroes commandeered a train at Atoka and took it to the vicinity.

Lindsley Loring (whoever that might be), facing a $500 per year tax bill for his foreign-built yacht (worth c.$12,000), decides to burn it instead. That’ll show ‘em.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Today -100: August 14, 1911: Of trolleys and lynchings

Yet another scene of violence and wanton trolley destruction in a street-car strike, this time, just for a change, in Glasgow.

A negro, Zachariah Walker, is lynched in Coatesville, Penn., evidently the first lynching in Pennsylvania. Walker had shot a steel company guard, and tried to kill himself when a posse closed in. Later, a mob stormed the hospital where he was being held, and finding him shackled to a bed, carried him and the bed outside, intending to take him to the scene of his crime. After a while they got tired, so they tied a rope to his leg and dragged him the rest of the way. They then burned him (and the bed) at the stake. When the bed burned away, he tried to escape, but they forced him back into the flames with pitchforks. Afterwards, the chain that had attached him to the bed was dipped in water to cool it down, then broken up for souvenirs. The NY Tribune reported: “For hours today the scorched torso of the Negro Walker was kicked around by children on the highway a short distance from where he met his death.”

Saturday, August 13, 2011

So long at the fair

The Iowa State Fair features pigs, cattle and other dumb animals.

Sharing a foot-long corn dog:


(Update: I just noticed: $6 for a corn dog? $6?)

Today -100: August 13, 1911: Of Jewish colonies, arbitration, and warplanes

200 Jewish families from Philadelphia will soon form a colony in Utah.

The Senate has stripped from the arbitration treaties with France and Britain their provisions for, um, arbitration. Specifically, they removed the power of the Joint High Commission to decide which disagreements would be arbitrated, and any arbitration would have to be approved by the Senate. In truth, this does sound like the Senate preserving its constitutional prerogatives, but the treaties, part of an attempt to create an international system that would prevent wars, would obviously be meaningless if so amended. Some senators expressed the fear that if the principle of arbitration became widespread, there might be treaties with China and Japan, and where would our precious racist immigration policies and exclusion of people of Asiatic races from public schools be then?

British aviator Claude Grahame-White says that the next big war will be decided by air power.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Republican Debate: Not going to eat Barack Obama’s dog food

Only Pawlenty and Bachmann seem to be wearing flag pins.

Michele B. does the “One. Term. President.” thing again.

Romney has spent his life in the private sector (I thought it was weird that Clinton scrubbed being a Rhodes scholar from his resumé in order not to appear all uppity, didn’t expect someone to pretend they’d never been a governor) and “understand[s] how jobs come and how they go,” especially the latter in any business he’s run. Says capitalism is about people (but then he thinks corporations are people. To be fair, Romney has to take the Turing test on a curve). “We’re inches away from no longer having a free economy.” He does not say how many inches.

GINGRICH PROBABLY WOULD: Romney on the debt ceiling bill: “Look, I’m not gonna eat Barack Obama’s dog food, all right?” Should Romney really still be bringing up dogs?

Ron Paul wants to put the militarism on the table.

Huntsman: “I intend to do exactly what I did as governor of the state of Utah,” adding, “Hey, can anyone remember what that was?”

REAL MEN DON’T COOK: Pawlenty: “I’ll offer a prize tonight to anybody in this auditorium or anyone watching on television, if you can find Barack Obama’s specific plan on any of those items, I will come to your house and cook you dinner. Or if you prefer, I’ll come to your house and mow your lawn. But in case Mitt wins, I’ll limit it to one acre.”

Santorum says the middle of America went to China, or something.

Now for the sexual tension portion of the debate, with Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann doing the Sam & Diane thing.

YES: Chris Wallace to Pawlenty: “Is [Bachmann] unqualified, or is she just beating you in the polls?”

SO SHE’S ACCOMPLISHED NOTHING, BUT IT’S A “WONDERFUL” NOTHING? Pawlenty on Bachmann: “She has done some wonderful things in her life but it is an indisputable fact that her record of accomplishment and results is nonexistent.”

Bachmann on Pawlenty: You’re Obama Obama Obama!

WHAT PEOPLE ARE LOOKING FOR: Bachmann: “People are looking for a champion. They want someone who has been fighting. ... I have a very consistent record of fighting against Barack Obama. That is what qualifies me as a fighter and a representative of the people.” But how is that a qualification for running a country?

NOW THIS IS A QUALIFICATION FOR RUNNING A COUNTRY: “I introduced the Lightbulb Freedom of Choice Act”.

Seriously, applause for that?

NOW THIS IS A QUALIFICATION FOR RUNNING A COUNTRY: Pawlenty: “she’s got a record of misstating and making false statements.”

WE’RE HOLDING OUT FOR ADAMANTIUM: Pawlenty, after noting that Bachmann has lost all her battles: “She said she’s got a titanium spine. It’s not her spine we’re worried about; it’s her record of results. If that’s your view of effective leadership with results, please stop, because you’re killing us.”

Bachmann: “I was at the tip of the spear fighting against the implementation of Obamacare in the United States Congress.” Heh heh, she said “tip of the spear.”

Romney: “I understand how the economy works.” He keeps talking about the “real economy.”

Gingrich calls a question about his Mickey Mouse campaign a “Mickey Mouse” question.

POLITICS IS EASY, COMEDY IS HARD: Herman Cain, asked about having said that the border needs a “twenty-foot barbed wire electrified fence,” said “America’s got to learn how to take a joke.”

Romney: “I was fortunate enough to be a governor that got an increase in the credit rating of my state at the same time we got a president who got a decrease in the credit rating of our nation. And that’s because our president simply doesn’t understand how to lead and how to grow an economy.” At the same time? Er, so he was governor last week?

Gov. Pawlenty regrets having supported a cigarette tax to pay for education, even though it was really a fee (a “health impact fee,” he called it at the time), and the courts said it’s really a fee, so there.

T-Paw also says Obama should come back from his “Cape Cod vacation.”

Bachmann was in the state legislature and really really opposed the cigarette tax, but voted for it because Pawlenty made a deal with “special interests” and “put in the same bill... a vote that would take away protections from the unborn”. She means the opposite, of course. Also, the “protections” in the bill were that pregnant women seeking abortions would have to be asked if they wanted the fetus to receive anesthesia before the procedure. (h/t TPM).

All the candidates would walk away from a deal that included spending cuts and tax increases in a ratio of 10:1.

Bachmann: if the government can force you to purchase health insurance, there is nothing the government cannot do.

OH NO, NOT MANDATORY MARRIAGE, SAVE US FROTHY: Santorum: “Michelle Bachmann says that she would go in and fight health care being imposed by states, but she wouldn’t go in and fight marriage being imposed by the states. That would be okay. We have Ron Paul saying oh, whatever the states want to do under the Tenth Amendment is fine. So if the states want to pass polygamy, that’s fine. If the states want to impose sterilization, that’s fine. No! Our country is based on moral laws, ladies and gentleman.”

Bachmann is late returning from the commercial break. I guess the timing on her ingenious plan to knock over a diamond merchant during the debate went a little bit awry. No such thing as a perfect crime, huh Michele?

Gingrich objects to a question about his complete reversal on Libya as a “gotcha question.” Says we need to rethink everything in the region. Which means he wants to come up with ten new nutty and completely contradictory ideas on the back of a napkin that he forgets about the next day.

Santorum clears up a geography question for Ron Paul: “Iran is not Iceland, Ron. Iran is a country that has been at war with us since 1979. Iran is a country that’s killed more men and women in uniform in Iraq and Afghanistan than the Iraqis and the Afghanistans [sic], Afghanistanis [sic] have.” Say what?

Paul responds that it actually started with the US support of the 1953 coup and 1979 was blow-back and we “just plain don’t mind our own business.”

Bachmann explains to Ron Paul (this is the “condescending to Ron Paul” portion of the debate) that terrorists don’t get Miranda rights and that Guantanamo Bay was responsible for Bin Laden being killed. She also explains to him that Iran is the center of all evil and she knows this because she sits on the House Select Committee on Intelligence (pause for snickering).

Ron Paul: “Who rules them a terrorist?”

Santorum says Ron Paul sees the world exactly like Obama does. Um, right. And that he won’t apologize for Iran having been free for a long time before the “mullahcracy.” He fails to say exactly when Iran was free. He does complain that Iran “tramples the rights of gays,” because if there’s one thing Ricky Santorum hates, it’s trampling the rights of gays.

Byron York asks Bachmann if she would be “submissive” to her husband, which some people think is a sexist question and I don’t. “[Wh]at submission means to us, if that’s what your question is, it means respect.” I’ll bet it does, I’ll bet it does.

I’m not sure what thesaurus she’s using, but submission in no way means respect.

Speaking of marriage, it’s gay marriage time. Romney says marriage should be determined at the federal level, because people move: “Marriage is a status, it’s not an activity.” Well, not the way Mrs. Romney does it (ba dum BUM).

Ron Paul doesn’t want the federal government having a marriage police.

I wonder what sort of uniform a federal marriage cop would wear?

Santorum says it sounds like Ron Paul says that if states want to legalize polygamy, they can. Evidently he’s no longer using the “man on dog” analogy.

Bachmann says she has “an unblemished record when it comes to this issue of man-woman marriage”. Hoo-kay then.

Santorum says it’s wrong that you can’t execute a rapist but you can abort a fetus conceived during rape. The child is an innocent victim. To be victimized twice is a horrible thing. (He means for the fetus; to victimize the actual rape victim twice with a forced pregnancy is of course a wonderful thing). “One violence is enough.”

Bachmann says she was right to oppose raising the debt ceiling and Standard & Poors has proven her right, because they said the US has no ability to pay its debts.

Today -100: August 12, 1911: Of mutinies and bad-ass pigs

The steamer Victorian arrives in Montreal from Liverpool and is met by the police, who arrest 57 stewards who had refused to serve meals. They are charged with mutiny. Evidently you can be charged with mutiny on a civilian passenger ship.

2,000 African-Americans are arriving in Denver for the 2nd annual convention of the National Negro Educational Congress, and are having trouble finding accommodation, as hotels and restaurants are refusing their reservations.

Headline of the Day -100: “Shark Killed by Pig.” Really. The shark had been harpooned and brought aboard a schooner, which for some reason had a pig as a mascot. His name is Dennis. The shark grabbed Dennis the Pig, but then Dennis tore off the shark’s jaw! It’s like the worst children’s book ever.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

David Cameron’s statement the spot of bother in London: We will not let a violent few beat us

With riots on the mean streets of Tottenham and elsewhere in England (Scotland informs me that it would prefer if everyone stop talking about rioting in the UK), David Cameron returned from his vacation, where his biggest problem was that he was caught stiffing a waitress, recalled Parliament and made a statement to it today.

NOT JUST A LITTLE UNACCEPTABLE: “What we have seen on the streets of London and in other cities across our country is completely unacceptable”.

WHAT WE WILL NOT ALLOW: “We will not allow a culture of fear to exist on our streets.” What exactly is a “culture of fear” when it’s at home?

SIMPLY PREPOSTEROUS (IT’S JUST NOT A TORY SPEECH UNLESS SOMETHING IS DESCRIBED AS SIMPLY PREPOSTEROUS): “It is simply preposterous for anyone to suggest that people looting in Tottenham at the weekend, still less three days later Salford, were in any way doing so because of the death of Mark Duggan.” I’m not going to psychoanalyze people based on some CCTV footage, but I don’t see anger over the police shooting yet another dark-skinned man and then lying about it, and opportunistic thieving as being mutually exclusive. Both are the result of alienation, social exclusion, state hostility and “austerity” measures.

WHAT STEALING FLAT-SCREEN TELEVISIONS WAS ABOUT: “The young people stealing flat screen televisions and burning shops was not about politics or protest, it was about theft.”

He defended publishing photos of looters and “no phoney human rights concerns” will stop him. Phew, because I was worried that phoney human rights concerns would stop him.

140 PUNCHES OR LESS: “And when people are using social media for violence we need to stop them.” He is considering “whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality.”

“I have also asked the police if they need any other new powers.” I’m guessing they’ll say no. Cops always think they have quite enough powers, thank you very much.

WELL AND TRULY: “The fight back has well and truly begun.” We will fight them in the Miss Selfridges, we will fight them in the Boots... Every British prime minister thinks he’s bloody Winston Churchill.

“[T]here is a major problem in our society with children growing up not knowing the difference between right and wrong. This is not about poverty, it’s about culture.” There’s that word again.
“A culture that glorifies violence, shows disrespect to authority, and says everything about rights but nothing about responsibilities.” Because it just wouldn’t be a Tory speech about the lower orders without some mention of how everyone talks about rights and no one talks about responsibilities. “In too many cases, the parents of these children – if they are still around – don’t care where their children are or who they are with, let alone what they are doing.” Says the man who’s been merrily cutting every youth and sports program in sight.

WHAT WE NEED: “We need more discipline in our schools.” I didn’t see the speech, but I’m assuming every male Tory MP put a paper over his lap to disguise the stiffy brought about by any mention of the word “discipline.”

“In short, all the action necessary to help mend our broken society.”

TERRITORIAL, HIERARCHICAL AND INCREDIBLY VIOLENT – ISN’T THAT THE TORY PARTY MOTTO? “At the heart of all the violence sits the issue of the street gangs. Territorial, hierarchical and incredibly violent, they are mostly composed of young boys, mainly from dysfunctional homes.” David, for example, was sent away to Eton.

AND IF THERE’S ONE THING WE ENGLISH HATE, IT’S EMOTIONS: “Mr Speaker, in the past few days we have seen a range of emotions sweep this country: anger, fear, frustration, despair, sadness – and finally a determined resolve that we will not let a violent few beat us.”

FOR EXAMPLE, MANY OF OUR YOUNG PEOPLE ARE DESTROYING PROPERTY AND PERPETRATING VIOLENCE IN THE BRITISH ARMY IN AFGHANISTAN: “We need to show the world, which has looked on appalled, that the perpetrators of the violence we have seen on our streets are not in any way representative of our country – nor of our young people.”

OR WE COULD PLAY TO OUR STRENGTHS AND INTRODUCE ARSON AND LOOTING EVENTS IN THE OLYMPICS: “And a year away from the Olympics, we need to show them the Britain that doesn’t destroy, but that builds; that doesn’t give up but stands up; that doesn’t look back, but always forwards.” Really? He really had to mention the Olympics? At least he didn’t use the phrase Big Society.

I’m no doctor, but isn’t pregnant women not spontaneously bursting into flames a GOOD thing?

LAT: “Pregnant California Women Show High Levels of Flame Retardant.”

Today -100: August 11, 1911: Of mutinies, arbitration, trolleys, and losers

The Spanish government claims that the 26 sailors shot for mutiny were part of a Republican revolutionary plot.

There have been rumors that Teddy Roosevelt is working behind the scenes to stop ratification of the arbitration treaties with Britain and France. (Spoiler alert: He is.)

Oh good, another street car strike atrocity: a Pittsburgh (motto: Now with An H!!!) trolley drives over a bottle of nitroglycerine, partially blowing up, but somehow without any of the twenty-some-odd passengers getting killed.

The Georgia Legislature calls on Congress to abrogate the 1832 treaty with Russia because of its refusal to honor American passports held by Jews. Yes, the Peach State is all about upholding the rights of Jews.

South Carolina Gov. Coleman Blease revokes the licenses of three notary publics who supported the charge of a railroad ticket agent that Blease had tried to cut in line and then insulted her when she told him to wait his turn.

Headline of the Day -100: “WED MRS. LOSER AND $300,000.” Mrs. Loser marries her chauffeur.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Today -100: August 10, 1911: Of milk, maneuvers, and elevated officials

I believe I mentioned that President Taft’s cow would be a special exhibit at the International Dairy Show in Milwaukee. Well, her milk will be sold at 50¢ for a small bottle. Souvenir milk – who came up with that brilliant idea?

Orange, NJ bans Carrie Davenport from teaching in Orange schools. She is black.

The Texas Legislature shouts down a proposal that Booker T. Washington be allowed to speak in the Capitol.

Airplanes will participate in German military maneuvers for the first time.

Headline of the Day -100: “CHOOSE ELEVATED OFFICIALS.” The guys in charge of Chicago’s El. So it’s the train tracks that are elevated, not the officials.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Today -100: August 9, 1911: Of restored h’s, mutinies, duels, and states

The long national nightmare is over: The spelling of Pittsburg is being changed back to Pittsburgh. That decision was made by the Post Office (or the United States Geographic Board?). The city had been demanding its h back for the last 20 years.

There was a mutiny a couple of days ago aboard a Spanish battleship anchored off Tangier. 26 sailors have been court-martialed and executed.

An East Chicago man who challenged another man to a duel (both have Serbian names) is sentenced to a fine, jail and, interestingly, disfranchisement, under a law against challenging someone to a duel, the first time the Illinois law has been used.

The bill for statehood for Arizona and New Mexico passes the Senate 53-18. An attempt to strike out Arizona’s provision for the recall of judges was voted down, but AZ will be required to vote on that provision separately from the referendum on the entire constitution. However, it will be admitted to the Union however that vote goes.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Quote of the Day

If you’re the lieutenant governor of Missouri, Peter Kinder, and you’re planning to run for governor in 2012, this is probably not what you want to have to send your spokesmodel out to say: “I really highly doubt the lieutenant governor is going to a bar where they don’t wear pants on a night when they don’t wear pants.”

Today -100: August 8, 1911: Of women’s games, stilts, and cleaning up

The mayor of Hunnewell, Kansas, Ella Wilson, is in a death-struggle with the all-male city council. They won’t confirm any of her appointments and she won’t sign any of the ordinances they pass. She says she would quit if she could, and that “politics is not a woman’s game,” but instead is working with the governor to oust the council.

Headline of the Day -100: “FIREMEN FIGHT BLAZE IN HOUSE ON STILTS.” Sadly, it was the house (the Jamaica Bay Yacht Club) which was on stilts, not the firemen.

Pathé begins the first newsreel in America, Pathé’s Weekly.