Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Today -100: May 20, 1915: Short people got no reason to live

Prime Minister Asquith announces that Tories will indeed be brought into the government, but gives no details except that he and Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey, who is rapidly going blind, will retain their jobs. Everyone is speculating about who will get what job, and asking whether it is allowable for Lord Reading to become Lord Chancellor, because the lord chancellor is the “keeper of the king’s conscience” and Lord Reading is... a Jew.

Asquith gives a speech, in which he thanks the colonies for all the cannon fodder, saying “It is safe to say that there is no part of the British Empire but would suffer annihilation rather than become subject to any other sovereignty.” The colonies respond, “Sure, any time, wait, did you say annihilation?”

Britain reduces the minimum height for soldiers to 5’2” (from 5’5” before the war) and raises the maximum age to 40. The maximum height (6’2”) was abolished at the start of the war.

Germany ends prisoner exchanges with Britain, because German submarine crew prisoners are supposedly being mistreated.

It’s been the practice of every country in this war to publish a book, named after a color, justifying its position. Now, in preparation for joining the fun, Italy publishes a Green Book with documents about its negotiations with Austria, although the point they seem to be trying to make is that the Austro-Hungarian negotiators “failed to realize that Italy was firmly determined to enter the war if she was unable to obtain satisfactory territorial concessions by diplomatic action.” The monsters! They must be crushed at any costs!

Italians in Rome are expressing their displeasure with Austria and Germany by playing their phonographs pointed towards their consulates. Heavy metal, one assumes.

Headline of the Day -100:

Did this really happen? Did the Germans really hang the mayor of Jaslo for flying a Russian flag? Who knows?

Suffragists have been going to places Woodrow Wilson is visiting and trying to talk to him about women’s suffrage. Other suffragists think this is very rude. The NYT contributes a rather predictable editorial.

Fog of War (Rumors, Propaganda and Just Plain Bullshit) of the Day -100:

They’re still recovering Lusitania corpses from the sea, 12 days later.

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