Saturday, November 12, 2016

Today -100: November 12, 1916: A blessing both for the workers and the nation

Headline of the Day -100:

Headline/Douchebag of the Day -100:  

“I have ordered measures to encourage the voluntary going of unemployed Belgian laborers to Germany and to evacuate the congenitally idle who refuse suitable work at good wages,” says the governor-general who’s been systematically looting Belgium’s raw materials and factories for two years now while diverting its power supplies and railroads but who seems to think unemployment is entirely the fault of the British because everything is always entirely the fault of the British. He says the deportations are “a blessing both for the workers and the nation.”

The German kaiser and the nearly dead Austro-Hungarian emperor issue a proclamation to the Poles of the occupied Polish bits of Russia saying they’re totally a country although for the time being we’ll “keep the administration of your new State still in our hands,” but bit by bit we’ll give you new institutions. “Of these the Polish Army is the most important.” Of course it is.

It’s almost like this whole “restoration of Poland” thing is a ploy to get Poles to fight for Germany and Austria. They’ve already set up a “Polish Legion.”

Herman Bernstein, editor of The American Hebrew worries about the treatment of the 3 million Jews in a new Poland, as well he might.

Speaking of shiny new nation-states, the Arabs – well, some Arabs – declare a Kingdom of Arabia. They’ve asked for US recognition, but the US has no idea who they are or how to get in touch with them.

For the first time, the Electoral College will include women, three of them, all from California.

An anti-war meeting in Cardiff, Wales, at which future prime minister Ramsay MacDonald is one of the principal speakers, is broken up by some pro-war types including another Labour MP, Charles Butt Stanton, the jackass elected to Keir Hardie’s seat after he died. When questions are asked in Parliament,  Stanton says that “they threaten us in Merthyr with another of their pro-German meetings, and... we will not tolerate it, whatever the consequences”. The home secretary will say that Cardiff’s constable asked him to ban the meeting under the Defence of the Realm Acts, but he declined to do so.

Japan and Brazil come to a trade arrangement which will include settling 5,000 Japanese a year in Brazil to work on the coffee plantations (and elsewhere, but mostly coffee). Many thousands of Japanese will emigrate to Brazil and Peru and be treated as second-class citizens for decades to come. Fun fact: during World War II the US got Peru to forcibly send many of its Japanese citizens to the US where they were interned alongside Japanese-Americans (and pressured Brazil to establish its own internment program). When the US compensated former internees in the 1980s, it excluded this group because they were “illegal aliens.” 

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