Thursday, January 16, 2014

Today -100: January 16, 1914: Of insurance, spoils, general strikes, and the tango


Lloyd’s of London calculates an insurance policy for Shackleton’s polar expedition based on a risk of failure of only 10%.

Pres. Wilson is in a dispute with Congressional Democrats over spoils in the postal system. Wilson says he will veto the Post Office appropriations bill if it contains an amendment removing 2,400 positions from the civil service and returning them to the spoils system.

Mexico mostly stops paying postal orders. Well, the PO will make full payment, but in stamps. The problem is that military units have been looting post offices.

South Africa has crushed the general strike, arresting many union leaders, some of whom surrendered after a field gun was trained on the Trades Hall in Johannesburg. The government mobilized Boer burghers into militias, telling the strikers in so many words, Hey the army might not shoot you, but these guys are crazy!

The pope comes out against the tango. So don’t dance the tango, dude. He also objects to the “new paganism,” although I doubt he was particularly fond of the old paganism.

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