Monday, December 31, 2012

Obama and the Fiscal Cliff of Doom


Obama made a little speech today about the fiscal cliff. I’m not going to analyze that speech, because I have better things to do on New Year’s Eve (for example: pretending that I have better things to do on New Year’s Eve), I just want to note that he brought out a bunch of “middle-class Americans” as props, just in case you didn’t know what middle-class Americans look like. Did you know that “wealthy individuals, the biggest corporations... take advantage of loopholes and deductions that aren’t available to most of the folks standing up here”? Look at them! LOOK AT THEM!



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Today -100: December 31, 1912: Guns don’t kill people, future Democratic presidential candidates kill people


12-year-old Adlai E. Stevenson II – grandson of Cleveland’s Vice President, Democratic candidate for president in 1952 and 1956 – accidentally shoots and kills 16-year-old Ruth Merwin. He was demonstrating rifle drill to friends with what he thought was an unloaded rifle when it went off.

Editorial Headline of the Day -100: “Preachers Are Aroused.” They want the saloons in Chicago closed by the regular statutory hour of 1 a.m. on New Year’s.

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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Today -100: December 30, 1912: Of promised lands


Dr. Max Nordau, president of the 10th Zionist Congress, suggests that if the Ottoman Empire is being divided up, maybe the Jews could get Palestine now? OKTHX.

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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Do they have weapons?


Hateblogger Pamela Gellar sued the NY subway system to be allowed to put up this ad.


Am I the only one who can’t help thinking of this?




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Caption contest


Auditioning replacements for Lieberman in the “Three Amigos.”


“I’m having another ‘Nam flashback, right? RIGHT?”

“I eat the cookie and throw away the filling because I’m a FUCKING MAVERICK!”


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Today -100: December 29, 1912: Of depopulation and dynamite


The French government is forming a commission to investigate France’s stagnating birth rate. The president of the French League for Women’s Rights pointed out that of the 250 doctors, professors, government officials, writers etc appointed to the commission, none are actually, you know, women.

38 members of the International Association of Bridge and Structural Iron Workers are convicted of transporting dynamite (on trains, which is illegal) which was used in various labor disputes to... make a point. The Indiana jury was composed almost entirely of farmers. (No one got prison terms greater than four years and 6 received suspended sentences.)


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Friday, December 28, 2012

Today -100: December 28, 1912: How... festive


Famous children’s singer Kitty Cheatham gives a holiday performance, delighting her audience with songs and Negro stories.

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Today -100: December 27, 1912: A likely story


Panama denies that the explosion yesterday was an attempt to kill Taft. Rather, it was the result of a trade dispute between some Spaniards.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Today -100: December 26, 1912: Of assassination attempts, disputed mountains, night riders, and cannibals


In a possible assassination attempt, dynamite explodes in a news stand in Panama City fifteen minutes after President Taft passed by it.

At the Balkan War peace talks, everyone’s a little concerned by the fact that Austria hasn’t demobilized its army, presumably as a way of putting pressure on Serbia and Montenegro not to demand too much new territory. But the Montenegrin negotiator says that Montenegro would rather be exterminated than yield Mount Lowehen or Scutari. I’m sure it’s a very nice mountain.

As I mentioned on the 17th, there is a movement in northern Georgia to ethnically cleanse all negroes from the region, supposedly because of “numerous attacks on white women” (numerous seems to mean three; one of the alleged perpetrators was lynched, the rest executed). The anti-negro campaign began two months ago in Forsyth County and spread to a dozen other counties. The threats made by “night riders” against negroes have expanded: white planters who still employ negroes are being threatened with having their barns and homes burned.

Headline of the Day -100: “Cannibals Fed Him Well.” South American tribesmen who were so nice to a journalist/adventurer that he panicked, decided they must be fattening him up for the pot, and “escaped.”


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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Today -100: December 25, 1912: Of negro invasions and trousers


Headline of the Day -100: “Negro Invasion Planned.” Some wealthy negroes, including boxer Jack Johnson, have bought an estate at Lake Geneva, which the NYT says is only the first step in a fiendish scheme to invade “fashionable resorts of the white race, both North and South, in the guise of athletic and social clubs”.

Today -100, -100: “The lively discussion of the advisability of celebrating the 100th anniversary of the institution of trousers is worthy of a serious note of comment.” No, no it isn’t.

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Today -100: December 24, 1912: Of assassins and elephants


A bomb is thrown at the Viceroy of India, Lord Hardinge, while he was making his state entry into Delhi, the new capital of British India, riding an elephant because of course he was. He was injured, not seriously, and his wife’s okay, but the mahout (elephant driver, wrangler, whatever) was killed. And the elephant? Not a damn word on its condition.

The head of the US Navy’s aviation corps says that the leading nation in military aviation is... France.

Bavaria’s prince regent Ludwig says he doesn’t want to be named mad king.

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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Comments


Fed up with the proliferating spam comments, I’ve instituted word verification, and if I can’t make out what those words are supposed to be, then neither can the spammers. Wait, what?


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Today -100: December 23, 1912: Of assassins


An anarchist chosen by lot to assassinate Italy’s King Victor Emmanuel instead tries to commit suicide. Since he didn’t manage to kill himself even by shooting himself in the head, I have to think the danger he posed to the king was never all that great.

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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Today -100: December 22, 1912: Who makes war?


The London Times wonders why it is that Europe might head to a general war over the question of whether Serbia should get a port on the Adriatic. The people of Europe sure don’t want war, so “Who, then, makes war? The answer is to be found in the Chancelleries of Europe, among the men who have too long played with human lives as pawns in a game of chess, who have become so enmeshed in formulas and the jargon of diplomacy that they have ceased to be conscious of the poignant realities with which they trifle.”

Ah, the Sunday New York Times. I always enjoy reading the headlines of fashion articles without clicking through to the articles. Today: “Italian and Chinese Wars Have Affected Women’s Hats – May Not Be Able to Wear Milan and Straw.”

The Idaho Supreme Court asked the publisher of the Boise Capital News to tell it why he should not be jailed for contempt of court for printing Theodore Roosevelt’s comments on its decision keeping him off the November ballot (which was, legally speaking, a fairly ridiculous decision). The publisher said, “Um, the First Amendment?” The Court rejects that.

Headline of the Day -100: “Lynched for Unusual Crime.” In Norway, South Carolina, a man is lynched for obtaining money under false pretenses. An unusual crime to be lynched for, but the usual race.

Scientists quoted (but not named) in the LAT blame the Latin American propensity for rebellion and revolution on fleas, which disrupt slumber and make everyone cranky. “The scientists assert that no nation can be great whose sleep is broken into fitful snoozes.”


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Friday, December 21, 2012

Wayne LaPierre asks the hard questions


“Since when did the word ‘gun’ automatically become a bad word?”


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Today -100: December 21, 1912: Of mad kings


Bavaria has been part of a unified Germany for 40 years but still retains its own mad king. Now it plans to rewrite its constitution to dethrone Mad King Otto (to give him his full legal title) and replace him with a presumably less mad king, his cousin Ludwig, who recently took over as prince-regent after the death of the previous prince-regent, his father. Mad King Otto has been the mad king since the death of Mad King Ludwig II in 1886, although they haven’t let him out of the part of the palace with the bars on the windows in all that time and he may or may not actually know that he’s the mad king.

Does the fact that I really enjoyed typing “mad king” so many times make me a bad person?

Gov. Hunt of Arizona wants to abolish the state senate. He says it over-complicates things and anyway with the introduction of the referendum and initiative, the people themselves act in essence as the second house of the Legislature.

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Holy Joe is being sent to live on a farm upstate


John McCain made a statement on the floor of the Senate today about the retirement of Joe Lieberman. This was the first sentence: “Mr. President, one of the most overused quotes about Washington is Harry Truman’s observation that if you want a friend here, get a dog.” He then proceeded to talk about “a departing colleague whose friendship has been and will always be one of the great treasures of my life.” Who’s a good boy, Joe, who’s a good boy?



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Today -100: December 20, 1912: Of pardons, immigrants, women’s suffrage, and alphabets


President Taft pardons Capt. William Van Schaik, the captain of the paddle steamer General Slocum, which caught fire in the East River in 1904, killing over 1,000 people. He has already served his 3½ years for criminal negligence, but the pardon restores his citizenship rights.

The House passes a bill excluding illiterate immigrants over 16; it now goes to the Senate. The NYT notes that in 1910, this would have excluded 188,439 males and 65,130 females, mostly from southern Italy, and wonders how New York City would get its houses and subways built cheaply without them.

Michigan finally finishes counting its ballots, and women’s suffrage lost by 760 votes.

Suffragettes in Britain are now vandalizing phone boxes and possibly TARDISes.

The Chinese government will introduce a new alphabet, with 42 characters instead of 8,000.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I’m willing to bet that they don’t think that using a gun and using common sense are incompatible ideas


Obama held a press conference today.

I GUESS WORDS DIDN’T NEED TO LEAD TO ACTION AFTER THE OTHER 8,000 MASSACRES: On gun control, “But this time, the words need to lead to action.”


DUDE, NOTHING IN THIS COUNTRY IS AS EASY AS GETTING ACCESS TO A GUN: “We’re going to need to work on making access to mental health care at least as easy as access to a gun.”

INSTEAD OF GLORIFYING GUNS AND VIOLENCE JUST THE RIGHT AMOUNT: “We’re going to need to look more closely at a culture that all too often glorifies guns and violence.” I warned him about that “too.”

HE THINKS THAT WHAT A MAJORITY OF AMERICANS SUPPORT HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS, ISN’T THAT ADORABLE? “A majority of Americans support banning the sale of military-style assault weapons. A majority of Americans support banning the sale of high-capacity ammunition clips. A majority of Americans support laws requiring background checks before all gun purchases, so that criminals can’t take advantage of legal loopholes to buy a gun from somebody who won’t take the responsibility of doing a background check at all.”

OH FOR FUCK’S SAKE: “Look, like the majority of Americans, I believe that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms.”

IF YOU HAVE A GUN, YOU DON’T NEED TO HAVE COMMON SENSE; THAT’S KIND OF THE POINT: “I’m willing to bet that they don’t think that using a gun and using common sense are incompatible ideas”.

Speaking of common sense, he says of Boehner and his merry men, “The fact that they haven’t taken [the deal] yet is puzzling”. Republicans still perplex Obama. “[T]he country deserves folks to be willing to compromise on behalf of the greater good, and not tangle themselves up in a whole bunch of ideological positions that don’t make much sense.” Unfortunately, I suspect he thinks that “not cutting Social Security” is also an ideological position that doesn’t make much sense. Certainly, that’s how he’s treating it in the negotiations.


OH GOOD, HE STILL THINKS REPUBLICAN CONGRESSCRITTERS MIGHT BE REASONABLE: “It may be that members of their caucus haven’t looked at exactly what we’ve proposed.” Well, they are very slow readers.

PERSPECTIVE: “But, goodness, if this past week has done anything, it should just give us some perspective. If there’s one thing we should have after this week, it should be a sense of perspective about what’s important.” This is kind of unpleasant: there are many reasons Republicans should stop being assholes about the deficit, but Newtown isn’t one of them.

SOMETIMES I THINK HE’D ACCOMPLISH MORE IF HE DIDN’T HAVE SO MUCH MISPLACED “CONFIDENCE” IN THE AMERICAN PEOPLE: “And the idea that we would say this is terrible, this is a tragedy, never again, and we don’t have the sustained attention span to be able to get this done over the next several months doesn’t make sense. I have more confidence in the American people than that.”

DUDE, SELF-REFLECTION IS FOR PEOPLE WHO DON’T HAVE ASSAULT RIFLES.“Well, the NRA is an organization that has members who are mothers and fathers. ... And hopefully they’ll do some self-reflection.”


Ah, he uses the phrase “gun safety,” and I realize that he didn’t use the term “gun control” even once. Safety, as in, “What we’re looking for here is a thoughtful approach that says we can preserve our Second Amendment, we can make sure that responsible gun owners are able to carry out their activities...” He makes it sound so dirty “...but that we’re going to actually be serious about the safety side of this”.

Jake Tapper asks where the hell he’s been the last four years (we could add his years in the Senate to that), and Obama says “Well, here’s where I’ve been, Jake. I’ve been president of the United States dealing with the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, an auto industry on the verge of collapse, two wars. I don’t think I’ve been on vacation.” What the hell is that snotty answer supposed to mean? I’m president but I can’t walk and chew gum at the same time? I had bigger priorities than preventing kindergarteners being massacred? I was unable to foresee, for example by observing the many similar events in the past, that this could happen? Okay, there’s no good answer for his inactivity but this answer’s haughtiness is misplaced. He may not be responsible for the Newtown massacre, but he sure as hell didn’t work to put any measures in place that might have prevented it.


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Things that Robert Bork thought are not unconstitutional


Restaurants, hotels etc excluding blacks (he called it a “departure from the freedom of the individual to decide with whom he will deal”).

Racially restrictive covenants in property deeds.

Banning gay sex: “We would find it impossible to conclude that a right to homosexual conduct is ‘fundamental’ or ‘implicit in the concept of ordered liberty’ unless any and all private sexual behavior falls within those categories, a conclusion we are unwilling to draw.” Indeed, the right of the majority to legislate morality is “the very predicate of democratic government”.

Banning married people buying contraceptives.

Regulating artistic speech (he thought the 1st Amendment mostly just applied to political speech).

Prosecuting people (Martin Luther King Jr comes to mind) advocating violating the law.

Prosecuting flag-burners.

Involuntary sterilization of inmates.

A chemical company ordering its female employees to get sterilized.

The president ordering wiretaps without a warrant.

The president excluding foreigners from the country.

Applying the 14th Amendment to anything other than race: “The bare concept of equality provides no guide for courts. All law discriminates and therefore creates inequality.”

For example, the establishment of different drinking ages for men and women.

Poll taxes.

Oh, and banning abortion, of course.

And he only got worse after his nomination to the Supreme Court was rejected in 1987. I wrote in 2005, “Bork is living proof that one can also be driven mad by lack of power.”

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Today -100: December 19, 1912: Of tuberculosis incubators and wirelesses


South Carolina Gov. Coleman Blease says that if the state penitentiary’s hosiery mill, which he calls a “tuberculosis incubator,” isn’t shut down, he’ll resort to mass pardons.

A Marconi wireless operator on a ship overhears a conversation which is part of a test of “wireless telephones” between Catalina Island and the mainland. He even heard a record playing in the background. Say, do you think there’s some sort of use for this ability to transmit voices and music over radio waves?

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Today -100: December 18, 1912: Of pilgrimages


Three (I think) women’s suffragists are engaged in a march, or pilgrimage, from New York City to Albany. If that doesn’t convince the Legislature, nothing will.


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Monday, December 17, 2012

Today -100: December 17, 1912: Of glaring, ethnic cleansing, and pardons


At the Balkan War peace negotiations under way in London, the allies demand that Turkey surrender Adrianople and other places by the end of the week or the war will resume. (LAT headline: “Peace Delegates Meet, Glare At One Another.”)

Whites in northern Georgia are driving blacks out of the region through terror, as was the custom. “So many negroes have fled that the wives and daughters of prominent planters are forced to cook, wash clothes and do other manual labor.”

Arkansas’s outgoing Gov. George Donaghey will pardon 360 prisoners, because of his opposition to the practice of convicts being leased out as laborers to contractors. He couldn’t get the legislature to abolish the practice, so he’s going to empty out the convict camps this way. (The Legislature will abolish the practice in February).

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Today -100: December 16, 1912: Of whooping emperors and dashed airmen


Headline of the Day -100: “Emperor Has Whooping Cough.” China’s (former) emperor.

Dashing Headline of the Day -100: “Two British Airmen Dashed to Death.” You just never hear of anyone being dashed to death anymore.

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Saturday, December 15, 2012

The more realistic discussion


Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) comes out against gun control following the Newtown shootings: “That’s certainly the lowest common denominator. What is the more realistic discussion is, how do we target people with mental illness who use firearms?”

Rep. Rogers has bravely come out in favor of doing something about people who massacre children AFTER they massacre children.


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Today -100: December 15, 1912: Of elephant paté and other stuff


The Terra Nova sails to the South Pole to pick up Capt. Scott’s expedition or, you know, not.

Parisian restaurants do love their novelties, but this year’s speciality, elephant paté, is the result of the showman who owned an elephant named Agra having him killed after he got out of his cage and ran amok in Paris on several occasions. The NYT says “The paté is said to have a delicious flavor, but its digestive qualities are not insisted on, and this suggested that Agra’s devastating influence may not have ceased with death.”

A public hearing will discuss whether NYC and New Jersey should be connected by a tunnel or by a bridge.

Titanic Butt Headline of the Day -100: “Painting for Butt Fund.” Oh how we’ve missed you, Titanic Butt headlines.

A federal judge has ordered the release of Mexican Gen. David de la Fuente and Col. Pasqual Orozco, Sr. The latter is, I assume, the father of the leader of the short-lived Orozco Rebellion of earlier this year, who is himself currently hiding out somewhere in the US. The Taft administration had claimed power to order them detained without trial to prevent violations of the Neutrality Acts, but the judge disagreed.

The Mexican military has been leaving dead rebels hanging from trees. Someone counted 60 on the road between Los Cruces and Tomasoaltepect yesterday.

Name of the Day -100: Cornelius Amory Pugsley, a banker who NY bankers think should be Wilson’s treasury secretary, presumably because he has the bankerest name ever.

Kaiser Wilhelm has a movie theater installed in the Potsdam Palace. What movies does he like to see? Newsreels of himself.

Headline of the Day -100: “Four Devoured By Wolves.” Four hapless villagers are killed by wolves in Portugal, as was the custom.

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Friday, December 14, 2012

Regardless of the politics


Obama reacts to the old story repeated in Newtown: “each time I learn the news I react not as a President, but as anybody else would -- as a parent.” Well, it’s certainly true that he has yet to actually react as a president, which I believe is his fucking job.

(Okay, I have to interrupt here to suggest that Obama badly needs to purge his vocabulary of the word “too.” Just in this statement are these insanely inappropriate too’s: “We’ve endured too many of these tragedies”; “their children’s innocence has been torn away from them too early”; “As a country, we have been through this too many times.”)

“And we’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.” The only meaningful action he specifically says he will be taking is hugging his children. Regardless of the politics.


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What we really need in this country


is better mental health care. Start with the Supreme Court justices who said there’s an individual right to guns.


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The purging of the Lieberdouches


Holy Joe Lieberman: gone.

Unholy Avigdor Lieberman: gone.

Let us never speak of them again.


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Today -100: December 14, 1912: Of flying white slavers


Headline of the Day -100: “White Slavers Fly London.” In fear of the just-passed White Slave Traffic Act, which includes a provision for flogging on a second conviction.

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Today -100: December 13, 1912: Also, shame-eating. Lots of shame-eating.


President Taft lays out his post-presidential plans: he’ll take up a professorship of law at Yale next fall, and then go on a year-long around-the-world tour.

Rep. Charles Calvin Bowman (R-PA) is declared unseated by the House due to corrupt practices in his election in 1910 (anyway, he was defeated in the 1912 election). But the House refuses a motion to give the seat for the remainder of the 62nd Congress to his Democratic opponent in the 1910 election, who evidently did the same things.


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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Woof


The House of Lords voted to decriminalize the use of “insulting” language.

My two favorite bits in the Guardian story:

1) For delightful British absurdity:
Kyle Little, a 16-year-old from Newcastle, was fined £50 with £150 costs for saying “woof” to a labrador dog in front of police officers.

The conviction was quashed.

2) Because I am a child:
“Section five is a useful and important tool to respond to and prevent deeply offensive homophobic language frequently targeted at one in eight gay people a year” said Sam Dick, head of policy [for gay-rights group Stonewall].

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Today -100: December 12, 1912: Of miscegenation and juries


On the House floor, Rep. Seaborn Roddenbery (D-Georgia) denounces the marriage of black boxer Jack Johnson to a white woman, and proposes a Constitutional amendment banning interracial marriages. He opposes the legal ability of “a brown-hued, black-skinned, thick-lipped, brutal-hearted African” to “walk into an office of the law and demand an edict guaranteeing him legal wedlock to a white woman.” He says a Southern girl would sooner commit suicide than marry a negro.

Here’s the kind of funny part: his lengthy diatribe prevented a bill coming to a vote requiring a literacy test for some immigrants.

Oregon’s attorney general decides that last month’s victory for women’s suffrage does not entitle women to sit on juries.


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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Today -100: December 11, 1912: Of premature presidential picks


The National Progressive Party conference in Chicago nominates Theodore Roosevelt for president for 1916.

President Taft will be going down to tour the Panama Canal zone, but what was the object spotted being moved from Taft’s personal yacht to the battleship Arkansas, the ship that will take him to Panama? If you guessed “jumbo bathtub,” you guessed correctly.

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Monday, December 10, 2012

Today -100: December 10, 1912: Of armistices, blind congresscritters, and no peace


Theodore Roosevelt gives his first speech since the election, promising that the Bull Moosers will continue fighting the Republican Party, an “organization of such a character that no honest man can be in it.” He refuses to say if he’ll run for president in 1916.

The armistice didn’t last long: Montenegrin and Turkish forces are fighting again.

In addition to blind Sen. Gore, the 63rd Congress will have blind Rep. Sanford Kirkpatrick (D-Iowa), a Civil War vet whose eyes were, in his words, “almost literally shot out by moonshiners” in 1890 when he was a Revenooer in North Carolina.

The Nobel committee says no one deserves a Peace Prize this year.


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Sunday, December 09, 2012

Today -100: December 9, 1912: Of junket, dead aviators, socialist peers, and Smocks


President Taft offers Woodrow Wilson the use of a warship if he wants to visit the Panama Canal before being sworn in. Wilson doesn’t want.

An aviator, Dr. Jules Constantin, died while dropping bombs on Turks for the Bulgarian army, shot by a rifle.

Britain gets its first socialist member of the House of Lords, the 2nd Earl Russell (the philosopher Bertrand Russell’s brother). In 1901 Russell was tried (by the House of Lords, as lords were tried in those days, jury of your peers you know) for bigamy, since English law didn’t recognize his Reno divorce.

Name of the Day -100: a committee member of the Bull Moose Party in Idaho: P. Monroe Smock. A newspaper in Idaho is being prosecuted for printing remarks made by Roosevelt in a campaign speech criticizing an Idaho Supreme Court decision keeping Bull Moose Party electors off the state ballot.


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Saturday, December 08, 2012

Today -100: December 8, 1912: A higher law than the Constitution


Interviewed by the NYT, South Carolina Gov. Coleman Blease says he was misrepresented (but not misquoted) regarding his “To hell with the Constitution” line. “[W]here black men commit crimes against white women, and are lynched for it, I declare Constitutions do not apply. For that, there is a higher law than the Constitution.”

The Triple Alliance between Germany, Austria and Italy is renewed.

Finally, an explanation of Greece’s failure to join the armistice that makes sense to me: it was pre-arranged with the other 3 Balkan League states that Greece would stay out so it could continue to enforce a naval blockade of Turkey (as well as snarf up some islands it wants).


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Friday, December 07, 2012

Today -100: December 7, 1912: Hisses are the applause of geese


At the conference of governors, Gov. Emmet O’Neal of Alabama proposes resolutions calling for law ‘n’ order rather than lynching and repudiating the remarks of, ahem, any governor advocating mob violence. SC Gov. Coleman Blease responds that he was quoted yesterday as saying “To hell with the Constitution,” and what he actually meant to say was “To hell with the Constitution.” And that when the other governors had gone into political oblivion, he would be representing SC in the US Senate (spoiler alert: sigh). “So I am hissed, am I? Hisses are the applause of geese.”

The Scandinavian Anti-Vivisection Society is protesting the awarding of the Nobel Prize in medicine to Dr. Alexis Carrel because of his vivisection practices. Carrel developed vascular suturing techniques which were later used in transplant operations. He also believed in miraculous healing at Lourdes and eugenics, and his death in 1944 probably saved him from a trial for collaboration.


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Thursday, December 06, 2012

Today -100: December 6, 1912: To hell with the Constitution


At the governors’ conference, South Carolina Gov. Coleman Blease brags that SC is the only state in which divorce is not legal (indeed, SC does not recognize divorces granted by other states, or allow the “illegitimate” children of subsequent marriages to inherit).

Blease says that if negroes could vote in South Carolina, 75-90% of them would definitely vote for him, even though he’s against educating them and for lynching them. But “we cannot apply the same rules to this inferior race that we do to the superior race.” He goes on to defend lynching black people in “defense of the virtue” of white women. Gov. Carey of Wyoming interrupts to ask Blease if he hadn’t taken an oath to uphold the Constitution and the laws of SC and if those didn’t also apply to negroes. Blease replies, naturally, “To hell with the Constitution!” Many women leave the hall on hearing that naughty word (hell, not Constitution). Other governors defend the rule of law, including the governor of North Carolina, who says there hasn’t been a lynching in his state in six whole years.

The conference also discussed whether Woodrow Wilson can run for a second term in 1916, since the Democratic Party platform on which he was elected says he can’t. Some say yes, some that the platform only called for a Constitutional amendment to that effect.

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Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Today -100: December 5, 1912: Of presidential pensions, diplomats’ wives, and mobile lynch mobs


The House Appropriations Committee rejects proposals to provide former presidents with pensions and non-voting seats in the House of Representatives.

The German government bans members of its diplomatic corps marrying foreigners.

Black boxing champ Jack Johnson has married the white woman he is accused of having abducted, and boy are lots of white people pissed. In Shreveport, a fund is being collected to send a lynch mob anywhere in the country he turns up.


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Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Invigorating our soul, if you know what I mean


Screengrab from the Fox News website. George W. Bush in a speech says “Not only do immigrants help build our economy, they invigorate our soul.”


And, yes, that is a picture of Salma Hayek in a low-cut dress.

Click on image to enbiggen – if you dare.


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Today -100: December 4, 1912: Of middle-aged nations, the rule of law in South Carolina, free lunches, and colon passengers


Turkey signs the armistice with Bulgaria, Serbia and Montenegro, but Greece refuses to go along.

President Taft sends a message to Congress on foreign affairs. He says the US is on the threshold of its “middle age as a nation” and should use its diplomacy primarily to increase foreign trade. In fact, he blames the recent civil war in Nicaragua on the US Senate’s failure to ratify the loan treaty between the two countries.

At the conference of governors, Gov. Shafroth of Colorado explains for the panel on “modern penology” his state’s new parole system, and Gov. Blease of South Carolina says that those who lynch “black brutes” who assault white women “will neither need nor receive a trial” (adding, as long as they lynch “the right man”). I notice that he uses the terms “virtuous womanhood” and “white women” interchangeably; presumably black women are by definition not virtuous.

There’s a letter to the NYT defending the awesomeness of Serbia’s Prince Lazarovich-Hrebelianovich (Larry to his friends, probably) by Nikola Tesla.

Elections in Los Angeles: the “anti-free-lunch” ordinance, banning saloons from serving free lunches, is easily defeated.

Headline of the Day -100: “Colon Passengers Angry.” I would think.

It’s the name of a steamship.

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Monday, December 03, 2012

Today -100: December 3, 1912: Of the revictualing of Yanina


The DC Court of Appeals rules that Thomas Edison didn’t invent motion pictures and he can’t keep slapping lawsuits on anything that moves (see what I did there?). This ruling will open up the motion picture industry considerably.

Newly independent Albania is working out who its king might be, because you gotta have a king.

Greece refuses to sign the armistice in the Balkan Wars, because of “dissatisfaction with the provision permitting the revictualing of Yanina,” which is my new favorite phrase of this war: the revictualing of Yanina. Say it out loud with me: the revictualing of Yanina. Balkan poetry, that is.

Meanwhile, more threats are issued between the larger powers, with Germany threatening that if Russia supports Serbia militarily against Austria, Germany will fight alongside Austria and Italy.

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Sunday, December 02, 2012

Today -100: December 2, 1912: Good luck with that


Headline of the Day -100 (LA Times): “Russia Tells Servia To Be Reasonable.” The Russian ambassador to Serbia denies that Russia advised Serbia to oppose the creation of Albania.


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Saturday, December 01, 2012

Totally legitimate


So the US is probably declaring the Syrian rebels as the True Czar of All the Syrias or something, because it is “a legitimate representative of the Syrian people’s aspirations,” which is unarguably true. It is also unarguably false, because it is hard to argue with a word-salad-with-bullshit-dressing like “legitimate representative of the Syrian people’s aspirations.”

But the UN shouldn’t recognize the Palestinian state, which has actually had elections, because um, why again?

How do you become a legitimate representative of an aspiration? The legitimate representatives of the American people’s aspirations would include Man in Rocket Pack and Boy Eating His Entire Body Weight in Twinkies.


(Update: The Internet is an infinite number of monkeys that has already come up with every post you or I will ever write, no matter how clever and original we think we’re being. In other words, there are 28 Google hits for “word salad with bullshit dressing,” which I thought I just made up.)


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Today -100: December 1, 1912: We are going to make life hardly worth living


Armistice in the Balkan War. Turkey has lost most of the battles, but the four anti-Ottoman allies have been squabbling among themselves and with Austria, Italy and to a lesser extent the other Great Powers, so it’s time. Also, the allies pretty much run through all their resources and money. The NYT says that “One of the most satisfactory features of the situation... has been the demonstration that Great Britain and Germany have been working together for the common end of peace.”

Headline of the Day -100: “Chicagoans Eat Horses.” Unintentionally, I think. In sausages, because this is Chicago we’re talking about. The city health dept is going after the manufacturer.

Automobile lynching in Georgia: Actually I’m going to give you the first sentence in the NYT article. See if you can spot which piece of information was so important that it had to be given twice: “A mob in automobiles that had pursued a Sheriff and his negro prisoner all night took the negro from a vault in the Court House at McRae early to-day and shot him to death.” The alleged negro had allegedly shot a farmer’s wife and allegedly “attacked” her daughter.

British suffragettes are now setting mailboxes on fire. Says “General” Flora Drummond of the Women’s Social and Political Union, “We are going to make life hardly worth living.” And a suffragette who refuses to identify herself to the police (but is in fact Emily Wilding Davison of whom more will be heard next year), attacks a man with a dog whip at the Aberdeen railway station, accusing him of being Chancellor of the Exchequer David Lloyd George in disguise. He is in fact the Rev. Forbes Jackson.

The latest fad in Paris: “coco” (cocaine).

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