Friday, January 15, 2016

Today -100: January 15, 1916: Of check books, memorable instances of sacrifice, usury, and the church very militant indeed


As I mentioned, when military attaché (and future German chancellor) Franz von Papen returned from the US to Germany via the UK under safe passage, the British took the opportunity to seize all his papers. Including, if the British are to be believed, his check book, showing his payments to secret agents for blowing up bridges and the like, because he totally paid them with checks and kept the stubs, even knowing he’d be traveling through an enemy port. The German ambassador, Victor Meldrew Count von Bernstorff, responds: “I don’t believe it.”

“Further than that the Ambassador declined to be quoted for publication.”

Russian Czar Nicholas issues an imperial order to the military. Evidently he wants them to win the war. “The year 1915 has passed, and it was filled with memorable instances of sacrifice by my glorious forces.” If there were any instances of them actually winning any battles in 1915, they’re evidently not so memorable.

Rep. William Howard (D-Georgia) wants Congress to investigate bank interest rates, which he says illegally reach as much as 50% per year, especially in the South and on loans to farmers.

The letters columns of British newspapers have been full of discussions of whether Church of England priests should be allowed to join the military. The Archbishop of Canterbury says no because they’re in God’s service, but of course the British public has been told over and over, including by priests from the pulpit, that this is a holy, righteous war. A thousand London curates have petitioned to be allowed to join up (although not necessarily in a lethal capacity).


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