Saturday, May 05, 2018

Today -100: May 5, 1918: Of ballots, marxes, thimbles, sedition, and sauerkraut


The Prussian Diet agrees to introduce the secret ballot. And to make voting compulsory, which is just adding insult to the injury of its rejection of one man one vote.

The British home secretary bans a celebration of the 100th anniversary of Karl Marx’s birth. There would have been resolutions against the capitalist war.

For its own celebration, the NYT Sunday Magazine has managed to find the one socialist, John Spargo, who thinks Marx would have supported the US entering this war.

Headline of the Day -100: 


The First Lady donates a gold thimble for American pilots. Which sounds like the start of a crappy fairy tale.

The Senate passes the Sedition Bill 48-26. 24 of the 26 no votes are Republicans. It provides for 20 years in prison or $10,000 fines for anyone who “makes or conveys false reports or false statements with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the military or naval forces of the United States, or to promote the success of its enemies” or obstruct the sale of bonds or attempt to incite “insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty, or shall obstruct recruiting or enlistment; or shall willfully utter, print, write, or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the form of Government of the United States, or its flag, or the uniform of its army or navy, or any language intended to bring the form of Government of the United States, or the Constitution, into contempt, scorn, contumely or disrepute” etc. An amendment to protect people “who speak the truth for good motives and for justifiable ends” is rejected on the urging of Attorney General Thomas Gregory. It gives the postmaster-general the power to stop any mail he personally considers seditious. At one point in the debate, Sen. Sherman waves a clipping from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in which the president of the Missouri branch of the German-American Alliance predicts that Germany will win the war. Sherman says the paper should have been excluded from the mails, and Sen. King adds that any editor who prints such articles should be put in prison under this act.

In the ongoing discussion on the NYT letters page on what else sauerkraut might be called, one Matthew Craig of Brooklyn suggests sour slaw, to complement cold/cole slaw. He rejects the suggestion kapovsta, because what if we find ourselves at war with Russia some day?


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