Thursday, September 10, 2015

Today -100: September 10, 1915: Of ambassadors, Arabics, controlling the Pacific, and deadly roller towels

Pres. Wilson politely requests that Austria recall Ambassador Konstantin Dumba, complaining that he “conspire[d] to cripple legitimate industries of the people of the United States and to interrupt their legitimate trade...” you know, selling arms to warring countries, that legitimate trade. And that he used an American citizen as a courier for official dispatches. The US will have to ask Britain and France to allow Dumba to return home without hindrance or, you know, capture. I’m not sure if similar free passage would also have been extended to a new Austrian ambassador, but Austria didn’t try to send one, so Dumba was the last ambassador of the Austro-Hungarian Empire to the US. Although only 59, Dumba will retire from the diplomatic service. I guess getting caught trying to sabotage your host country’s industry doesn’t look good on the CV.

Germany explains that the Arabic was sunk because it changed direction and the U-boat commander was a-scared that it intended to ram his boat. So they will not be paying any indemnity, “even if the commander should have been mistaken as to the aggressive intentions of the Arabic.” It’s the Great War equivalent of American cops’ “Yeah, that black guy I shot looked like he was reaching for a weapon.” However, reports from passengers say the Arabic was hit near the stern, which would mean it wasn’t trying to ram the sub. Indeed, the Arabic didn’t even know it was being followed until it saw the torpedo coming at it.

The Daily Mail (London) is getting up a meeting of 3,000 women, each “representing” their male relations in the military, to call for conscription. The Vote, which has some questions about this odd system of representation, also points out that the Daily Mail used to argue against women’s suffrage precisely on the grounds that women might vote to send men to war without being subject to it themselves.

Headline  of the Day -100: 

The US’s Seamen’s Act regulating conditions for sailors has led to the Pacific Mail Steamship Company getting out of the biz. The Japanese worry this will damage US-Japanese trade.

William Howard Taft says he will not be a candidate for president in 1916. Not that anyone was asking.

Headline of the Day -100:

And strangely, it’s not Beyoncé, but Estelle Lawton Lindsey (the NYT misspelled her name), who was elected as the first woman on the LA city council in June. Her first act as acting mayor is to write to the City Council about the need for legislation to require that public restrooms have individual towels rather than the “deadly roller towel” shared by everyone.

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