Monday, April 29, 2013

Today -100: April 29, 1913: Of alien land, poets, and angry Churchills

Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan meets in a closed-door session with the California Legislature and Gov. Hiram Johnson to ask them to delay the anti-Japanese Alien Land Bill, maybe appoint a commission or let the feds negotiate a treaty with Japan (a treaty to restrict the rights of its citizens abroad, really?), or apply the law to all aliens, not just ones “ineligible for citizenship.”

In Congress, Rep. Thomas Sisson (D-Miss.) says the US should, if necessary, go to war with Japan to protect California’s right to pass racist legislation. He says to exempt aliens from laws would give them greater privileges than American citizens. Which sounded nonsensical to me at first, but I think he’s saying that Asian non-citizens can be legally discriminated against on account of their race because non-white Americans can be legally discriminated against on account of theirs, and fair (or in this case unfair) is fair.

Journalist John Reed (you know, Warren Beatty in Reds) is arrested for refusing the orders of a cop to move it along when he was chatting with three strikers in Paterson, NJ. Asked in court what his business is, he says poet. He gets 20 days.

Bulgaria has evidently fought several battles with its former allies Serbia and Greece. Meanwhile, Montenegrin troops (with Serb backing) are taking up positions in preparation for a likely attack by Austria.

Headline of the Day -100: “Churchill Very Angry.” At being called to testify before the parliamentary committee on the Marconi scandal.

I just imagined Winston Churchill intoning, “You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry” in a Winston Churchill voice and then turning into Hulk Winston. Awesome.

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