Sunday, August 31, 2014

Today -100: August 31, 1914: You can do nothing but surrender

Headline of the Day -100 (Daily Mail):  “Women’s War: White Feathers for ‘Slackers.’”  Retired Royal Navy Admiral Charles Penrose Fitzgerald deputizes thirty women to hand out white feathers to men found “idling and loafing,” i.e., not in uniform.

Well, here’s a term you don’t want to see.  In an otherwise false story from a German source about how Louvain’s dastardly civilians attacked perfectly innocent German soldiers, it is mentioned that the town’s men were taken to a “concentration camp.”

The Russians have supposedly captured Königsberg in East Prussia (which today is called Woody Allen Kaliningrad, Russia).

The complete loss of three Russian army corps at the Battle of Tannenberg goes completely unreported in French and British newspapers.

Serbia accuses Austria of committing atrocities during its retreat.

German Samoa surrenders to New Zealand forces.

The German press is confident that German troops will be in Paris by Wednesday (two days from now).  A German plane drops some bombs on Paris, most of which did not go off, and leaflets saying “The German Army is at the gates of Paris; you can do nothing but surrender.”

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Saturday, August 30, 2014

No decent country

John Kerry op-ed on ISIS:  “no decent country can support the horrors perpetrated by ISIS, and no civilized country should shirk its responsibility to help stamp out this disease.”

Did the State Dept committee that ghosted this see nothing wrong with defining entire nations as decent – or not – or as civilized – or not?

Elsewhere, terrible Labour Party leader Ed Miliband calls for a “mandatory programme of deradicalisation” for British Muslims who might be planning to go to Syria or Iraq to jihad up the place.  I guess you can’t put them in prison for something they might do, but evidently you can forcibly “re-educate” them.

[Paragraph about the John McCain and Lindsey Graham op-ed in the NYT deleted, because why bother?  You’re welcome.]

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Today -100: August 30, 1914: Of forts, bestial atrocities, twilight sleep, nostalgia, and electric chairs

The House votes to create a Federal bureau of war risk marine insurance, with a $5,000,000 fund to cover the risk to shipping from the war.

The military governor of Paris orders residents within the line of fire of the city’s forts to abandon their homes, which will be destroyed to create a line of fire.

The Germans are threatening to seize works of art unless Brussels pays the $40 million indemnity.

Germany justifies the burning of Louvain by claiming that civilians were sniping at German soldiers with guns handed out by magistrates and priests, and that they committed “bestial atrocities against the wounded.”  Bestial atrocities are the worst kind.

It won’t make the papers, but Russian Gen. Alexander Samsonov, after his invasion of East Prussia ends in a spectacular defeat in which almost his entire army is encircled by Germans and captured or killed in the Battle of Tannenberg – more than 100,000 men – shoots himself in the head.

Fog of War (Rumors, Propaganda and Just Plain Bullshit) of the Day -100: Supposedly the 135th German Infantry pretended to surrender, but when French soldiers approached, attacked them with machine guns they’d hidden.  Naturally, so the story goes, the French charged them with, um, bayonets and wiped them out, because they’re just that good.

The Jewish Maternity Hospital of New York City has been experimenting with a method of painless childbirth called twilight sleep, which involves drugs.  Lots and lots of drugs.  Including morphine.  Actually, it may not so much eliminate pain as eliminate any memory of it.

A jailer in Paris, Kentucky shoots into a mob attempting to storm the jail and lynch a negro prisoner, killing one of the mob.

The National American Woman’s Suffrage Association (NAWSA) names a “blacklist” of 9 senators and 9 congresscritters who are the greatest obstacles to women’s suffrage.  Along with the usual suspects (Elihu Root, Henry Cabot Lodge) are future vice president John Nance Garner and Thomas Gore.

Attorney General James McReynolds is confirmed as Supreme Court justice, 44-6.

Headline of the Day -100:  “Asks Leave for Nostalgia.”  Congress has been having trouble maintaining a quorum and has resorted to sending out the gendarmes to drag members to the chamber and threatening to dock the pay of any member absent without permission.  Now Rep. Michael Burke, the first-term Democrat from Wisconsin, is asking for permission to go home to Beaver Dam because of illness: homesickness, or nostalgia as he calls it.

New York has fired Edwin Davis (wrongly called Charles Davis by the NYT), the executioner employed for 240 executions since NY introduced the electric chair in 1890 (Davis holds one of the patents), because he wouldn’t reduce his $250 fee (each – no discount for multiple fryings).  Yonkers politician Thomas Mannion will do it for $150.

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Friday, August 29, 2014

Imagine that

Hillary Clinton, a little late to the Ferguson party:
Imagine what he with would feel and what we would do if white drivers were three times as likely to be searched by police during a traffic stop as black drivers. Instead of the other way around; if white offenders received prison sentences 10 percent longer than black offenders for the same crimes; if a third of all white men, just look at this room and take one-third, went to prison during their lifetime. Imagine that.
Imagine if politicians could feel empathy for black people without first having to translate their experience into Caucasian.  Imagine that.

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Today -100: August 29, 1914: Poor Louvain

Austria declares war on Belgium.

I feel like I should put those announcements in a special font or something.

Germany and Austria offer peace terms: Britain shall respect Germany’s commerce and its right to colonies; France to pay an indemnity; Poland recreated as a buffer state; Serbia to cease its pan-Slavic propaganda; Germany will recognize Britain’s naval supremacy.

France says Germans shot three Red Cross nurses.

The British win a naval battle off Heligoland in the North Sea.

The Germans burn and sack Louvain, Belgium, claiming that civilians “perfidiously attacked German troops.” It was actually a friendly fire incident, but the Germans have worked themselves up into a panicky indignant froth – yes, I said panicky indignant froth – about civilian resistance, which basically doesn’t exist and anyway Louvainihoovians were all made to turn in their guns before the Germans marched in. The Germans burn various medieval churches and the medieval university library (and it was a very good library with lots of irreplaceable medieval manuscripts and suchlike).  Also, and this news isn’t out yet, the burgomaster and other officials, including the entire Louvain police force and the university rector, are executed, as well as hundreds of civilians.  This incident – the cultural vandalism perhaps more than cruelty to civilians as a matter of military policy – will be used as the prime example of German assholery in Allied propaganda for some time and it has the virtue of all being true, unlike so many of the atrocity stories.  It had an effect on public opinion in neutral countries like Italy and the US.

Since Brussels has failed to pay the Germans the $40 million they demanded, they demand $2 million from the local scion of the Rothschild family and $6 million from Ernst Solvay, the chemicals magnate.

Germany defends the bombardment of Antwerp from zeppelins, citing the city’s status as a fortified city.  They say if Belgium didn’t want its women and children blown up it should have removed them from fortresses liable to attack.  They say the royal palace was fair game because the king is commander in chief of the Belgian army.

Germany orders all Belgian males aged 17 to 42 in the Liège region to go to Germany to bring in the harvest.  Many are instead fleeing to the Netherlands.

France’s Gen. Alexandre Persin, who evacuated his troops from Lille instead of defending it, is transferred in disgrace.

German troops attack the Belgian Congo.

Britain will use Indian troops, Kitchener says.  The Secretary of State for India, Lord Crewe, says that he doesn’t see a problem removing all those troops from India, because of the “enthusiasm” the Indians have shown for this war.

Sexy, Sexy Headline of the Day -100:  “RESISTED CZAR'S ADVANCE.; Germans Fought Desperately Till They Were Outmanoeuvred.”

German Uhlans (cavalry) take 130 francs from the town cash box of Alost, Belgium, leaving an IOU and 1½ francs as a tip for the police.

But you know who is worst affected by the war?  Washington D.C. hostesses, who when making out their invitation lists have to keep track of which foreign ambassadors and diplomatic staff are not allowed to speak with which other diplomats.

Rudyard Kipling is briefly detained as a suspected German spy while taking one of his constitutionals along the seaside near his home on the south coast of England.

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Today -100: August 28, 1914: Of bombs & birthdays, titles, royal orphans, zeppelin plots, and getting the shaft

King George of England writes to Albert, King of the Belgians: “I am shocked to hear of the dangers you have run from the throwing of bombs.  I hope that the Queen and the children have not suffered.”  Well, they have had to cancel the usual public celebrations of Queen Wilhelmina’s birthday this week and ban street music, so suffer she most certain has.

Kaiser Wilhelm renounces his British titles (field marshal in the British army, admiral in the Royal Navy).

The “royal orphans,” the children of the late Archduke Franz Ferdinand and Sophie, have been sent to Switzerland for the remainder of the war.  After the war they were barred from their ancestral home on their mother’s side, now Czechoslovakia, and their lands confiscated (their descendants are still trying to get their castle back), so they went to Vienna.  The two brothers were put in Dachau after Anschluss, but both survived.  Duke Maximilian was elected mayor of Artstetten after World War II.

The Yorkville (NY) Record prints a letter that explains that the Germans once kidnapped King George of Great Britain with a zeppelin and released him only after a, how you say, king’s ransom was paid – you didn’t hear about it because the British government covered it up out of embarrassment – and can do so again ANY TIME THEY WANT.

The Bull Moose party’s NY state committee decisively rejects impeached former governor William Sulzer’s application to be their gubernatorial candidate (although they can’t stop him running in their primary).  The committee selects a slate of candidates for the upcoming NY constitution convention that includes one negro, James C. Thomas, Jr., and one woman, Katherine Davis, the commissioner of corrections.

Woodrow Wilson vetoes his first bill, one to reinstate a captain in the army medical corps who was honorably discharged.

17 British suffragettes are arrested attempting to see the home secretary to talk about forcible feeding.

The new French cabinet, full of heavy-hitters including no less than three former prime ministers, orders Paris readied for a possible siege.

Unlikely Headline of the Day -100:  “Man Who Fell 24 Stories Still Alive.”  John Bosci fell down an elevator shaft in the Park Row Building, which was the world’s tallest building until 1908 and therefore a prestigious location from which to fall a great distance, as the anarchist Andrea Salsedo must have thought when the police shoved him out one of the building’s windows in 1920.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Today -100: August 27, 1914: Of wars, petticoats, zeppelins and depraved minds, togos, and dead princes

Austria declares war on Japan.  I think it’s a Secret Santa thing.  I don’t believe there were ever any Austro-Japanese battles.

Prime Minister Asquith says he doesn’t intend to introduce conscription.  Others are trying to shame men into joining up in the time-honored manner: an ad in today’s London Times reads “Wanted, petticoats for all able-bodied youth in this country who have not yet joined the navy or army.”

Belgium says German zeppelin attacks on Antwerp are a violation of international law, an attack on civilians.  One part of the Fourth Convention of the Hague specifically bans dropping bombs from balloons, but Germany and Austria refused to ratify that part.  The NYT thinks the German military authorities are too civilized to have ordered such a thing, so the zep’s crew must have been “inspired by a depraved mind”.

German Togoland surrenders to Britain and France, which can now argue between themselves over who will get to keep it and whether they’ll change its name to something less amusing.

German newspapers are complaining about the (fictitious) treatment of Germans in other countries.  For example, a Hamburg paper says German patients were thrown out of hospitals in London.  German papers also complain that some German women met trains carrying French POWs and gave them cigarettes and chocolates.  A poem in the official Lokal-Anzeiger says, poetically, “Give me a whip for those women without breeding and honor!”

Prince Friedrich of Lippe – which is an actual German state, used to be one of those dozens and dozens of tiny German countries – is machine-gunned in Belgium, as was the custom.

Prince Georges de Ligne, a Belgian prince, is also killed. It’s getting all Game of Thrones out there.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Today -100: August 26, 1914: What is the distant thundering that I hear?

British War Secretary Lord Kitchener says that wine and spirits sent to the troops will not be forwarded to them (soldiers are not expected to be teetotal – that’s just crazy talk – and there will be an official ration of rum, though not as generous as the half liter of wine per day that French soldiers will be issued).

Britain, with 2,000 casualties in Belgium, the greatest loss in a single battle since the Crimean War, is beginning to plan for a longer war than expected, perhaps even as long as three years.  The newspapers are discussing conscription.  Secretary of War Kitchener wants 100,000 men just for starters.  The current term of enlistment for British soldiers is for the duration of the war or three years, whichever comes first.

French troops entering the Lost Province of Lorraine were greeted by the local officials – who then pointed out their position to the Germans.  “A local schoolmaster corrected the range of the German guns by moving the hands of the church clock.”

France has retreated from Alsace.

Kaiser Wilhelm has awarded two of his sons the Iron Cross for bravery.

From Punch (click for bigger).  Caption reads: The Coming of the Cossacks.  Wilhelm II: “What is the distant thundering that I hear? Doubtless the plaudits of my people!”

Turkey bought two cruisers from Germany, which are still crewed by Germans, despite objections from Britain, France and Russia.  Turkey seems to be inching towards entering the war, which would probably bring in Italy, Greece and Bulgaria against it.

Italy says Austrian troops are massing on its border.

Germany keeps imposing new (illegal by international law) levies on Belgium.

Fog of War? The NYT, evidently under the impression it’s mentioned this before, talks about stories of a Belgian soldier, Lt. Henkhart, driving around Antwerp in an armored car all by himself shooting Germans.  They have no idea if it’s true.

Some Japanese sailors are petitioning to be sent to the front against Germany, signing the petition with their own blood, as was the custom.

Woodrow Wilson declares more American neutrality, this time in the war between Germany and Japan.  This is the 9th sub-war he’s had to declare neutrality in, if you’re keeping track at home.

But US “neutrality” evidently doesn’t require arms manufacturers not to sell to combatant nations, which is a funny definition of neutrality.  The German-American Alliance protests the sale by Colt of guns to Canada.

A court martial acquits the 22 Colorado National Guardsmen for their role in the Ludlow massacre (specifically, they were charged with murder, manslaughter, arson and larceny).

This blog’s frenemy, Gov. Coleman Blease of South Carolina, loses his bid for a US Senate seat to incumbent Ellison “Cotton Ed” (he  aims to keep the negro down and cotton prices up) Smith.

Blease will win that Senate seat in a decade.

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Today -100: August 25, 1914: Of censorship, European time, the kaiser of Europe, punitive expeditions, and cocks

The US, still deciding how much censorship to impose on wireless stations, discovers that the Germans have been evading it through relay ships in the Atlantic.  The US has now shut down a German wireless station operating without a license on Long Island.

Germany plans to establish its own government in Belgium, and to impose the use of European time rather than Greenwich Mean Time.

The German ambassador to Italy has been trying to get Italian newspapers to support Italy joining the war on the Central Powers’ side, but has found no takers, even after offering to give Italy Algeria as well as Tunisia.

German soldiers wrote “Wilhelm II, Kaiser of Europe” on the walls of houses they burned in Liège.

Fog of War (Rumors, Propaganda and Just Plain Bullshit) of the Day -100?: German soldiers are said to have burned down the Belgian village of Hussigny and carried off its male population after civilians fired on German troops.

Fog of War (Rumors, Propaganda and Just Plain Bullshit) of the Day -100: Austrian Emperor Franz Josef is dying (LA Times headline: Death of Franz Josef A Question of Hours)(the LA Times uses that German spelling, while the NYT calls him Francis Joseph, by the way).

Austria has down-graded its war with Serbia from a war to a “punitive expedition,” because it has to go fight the Russians now.  Or to put it another way, the much smaller Serb Army handed them their asses.

Austria agrees to dismantle its sole cruiser in Chinese waters so that Japan doesn’t declare war on it too.

Name of the Day -100: Augustus C. Cock, whose name appears in the obituaries.

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Today -100: August 24, 1914: Of literal pieces, dum-dums, and ex-kings

Japan declares war on Germany.

The NYT says that three regiments of the Austrian Army were “literally cut to pieces at the confluence of the Rivers Drina and Save.”  I guess literally in this case does mean literally.

Cardinal Agliardi wants the war suspended while a new pope is elected.

The Swedish parliament’s lower house rejects women’s suffrage.

France files a complaint with the signatories of the Hague Conventions against Germany’s use of dum-dum bullets (designed to expand inside the body), which were banned as inhumane in 1899.

Prince William of Albania has fled the country after a rather short reign.  (Actually this report seems to be premature by a week or so).  The European powers which put him on the throne and kept him there for lo these many weeks are presently engaged elsewhere.

Having read, and published, the reports of both the British and German government on Who Started The War Certainly Not Us, the NYT concludes “that this is a war brought on not by peoples, not in the interests of peoples, but by dynasties for their own interests.”

New York suffragists believe that they could receive the vote – although only for the office of president – through a simple law rather than an amendment to the state constitution following a referendum, because the US constitution leaves the manner in which members of the Electoral College are selected up to the state legislatures.

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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Today -100: August 23, 1914: Of false fleets, coal, and gay flags

Some Americans are volunteering for the French military, including aviator William Thaw, who’s bringing his plane with him.

Several of the warring countries have published Blue Books or White Papers or Yellow Books purporting to show that they’re not responsible for starting the war.  The NYT reproduces the British one.

Fog of War (Rumors, Propaganda and Just Plain Bullshit) of the Day -100: the Austrian fleet supposedly fought for six hours against an enemy fleet that wasn’t actually there.

The deadline for Japan’s ultimatum to Germany to give up Kiautschou is reached, unanswered.  Japanese newspapers are now suggesting that Japan’s promise to restore the territory to China eventually was contingent on Germany handing it over to Japan peacefully, so it doesn’t count.

The US Senate passes a bill for the government to purchase up to 15 million ounces of silver to keep up the price, which is under threat by the war.

The Germans shoot the burgomaster of Aerschot (Aarschot), Belgium, plus his son and his brother and 153 more.

The British protest to the United States about a ship which left San Francisco carrying coal they believe is intended for German warships.  International law is a bit complicated about neutral countries refueling combatant ships: German ships in the Pacific can only legally take on just enough coal to get them to the nearest German port, which would be in Samoa, and not do it again for three months.

The Austrian army is defeated by a much smaller Serb force.

Headline of the Day -100:  “Antwerp Gay With Flags.”

Heartwarming Story of the Day -100: the life of a French soldier in Lorraine (from where the French army has been forced to retreat, by the way) is saved when a bullet is deflected by a bust of Kaiser Wilhelm he’d looted from a school.

The New York Bull Moose party decides that the State Committee meeting will be open to anyone to speak, in a not terribly subtle attempt to get the meeting to stampede Theodore Roosevelt into running for governor, because no matter how many times he says he won’t run, no one really believes him.

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Friday, August 22, 2014

Today -100: August 22, 1914: Of indemnities, peace, linoleum, splashes, and chaunceys

Germany imposes a war levy of $40 million on Brussels and $10 million on Liège, in violation of the rules of war as codified by the Hague Conference of 1899.  Bakers in Brussels will be required to supply the Germany Army with bread, at local prices. Various other goods, including cars and horses, are being “bought” at fixed prices by the Germans. Prominent Brusselèèrs have been taken hostage against the good behaviour of the populace.

Headline of the Day -100:  “Peace in Santo Domingo.”  The first sentence elaborates: “Peace plans, supported by the guns of American warships and a regiment of marines, have been agreed upon by the warring factions in Santo Domingo.”  Because nothing says peace like American warships and marines.

Japan’s ultimatum to Germany over Kiautschou (which has expired, unanswered) is freaking out some Americans.  Sen. Jacob Gallinger (R-NH) offers a resolution supporting the territorial integrity of China, which is evidently threatened when Japan holds a piece of it but not when Germany does.  Gallinger thinks Japan intends to seize every Pacific island between Japan and San Francisco.  The US has told Japan that it “understands” that Japan will confine any military actions to Kiautschou and if it plans to go beyond that at any point it needs to consult with the US first.

The war has struck home for Americans: it may affect linoleum manufacturing, which depends on imports of burlap from Scotland, where all the workers are now off at war, and those plants are in turn dependent on jute from India, which was transported on German ships before the war.

Orville Wright, flying a hydroplane with an army lieutenant as passenger, splashes down unexpectedly in the Miami River (Ohio), and they have to swim ashore.

Theodore Roosevelt takes back his endorsement of the alliterative Harvey Hinman for governor of New York.  Hinman will be the Republican candidate, but now the Progressive Party has to find its own candidate.  One possibility is Chauncey J. Hamlin.  I don’t know who Chauncey J. Hamlin is, but he is our Name of the Day -100.  Chauncey J. Hamlin.

Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan says of the Constitutionalist victory in Mexico, “Watchful waiting wins in Mexico.”

This is a genuine advertisement at the bottom of the NYT’s front page:

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Today -100: August 21, 1914: Of triumphal entries, bayonet teeth, unimportant occupations, neutrality, and black popes

Venustiano Carranza enters Mexico City in triumph, occupies the National Palace, does the balcony thing, etc.

William Randolph Hearst is in negotiations with Tammany Hall to be the Democratic candidate for US senator from New York.

The Germans are said to be using bayonets with teeth on ‘em, the better to tear your skin.  On the other hand, Prussian bullets are extremely pointy and so are more likely to pass through bodies cleanly and not need to be extracted.

Belgian troops are retreating before the massive German influx.  The British embassy in the US claims that because the government had already left Brussels and the city was undefended, its occupation by the Germans “is not of great importance.”  The Brusselèèrs might disagree.

Fog(gy Demographics) of War of the Day -100: The German government is evidently circulating the claim that there are 33 million people of German descent in the US, so it will never go to war against Germany.

China, believing for some reason that if Japan gets hold of the German colony of Kiautschou, it might decide to keep it rather than handing it back to China like it says it will do – eventually – suggests that Kiautschou go instead to the United States, which would give it to China.

Germans from German East Africa (aka Tanganyika, now Tanzania) raid British Kenya and steal some cattle.

The US issues another neutrality proclamation, this one for the war between Germany and Belgium.  A reminder that this is still officially a bunch of separate wars.  Austria, for instance, hasn’t declared war on Belgium yet, but will in a day or two.

Fog of War (Rumors, Propaganda and Just Plain Bullshit) of the Day -100: Germany supposedly shot a blind Alsatian bishop as a spy.

Unlikely Headline of the Day -100: “Death of Pope May Aid Peace.”

The Vatican is asking the warring European countries whether they will allow the cardinals to go to Rome to elect a new pope.  Presumably they will, but will be less accommodating to the guys who need to come to Rome to elect a new head of the Jesuits (who is called a Black Pope)(whoops, Wikipedia says that term is derogatory) to replace the one who died at the same time as Pope Pius.  That election may need to await the end of the war. (Spoiler Alert: it won’t.)

IWWer Becky Edelson is released from prison on a bond collected by her friends who were afraid she’ would fast to death.  Supposedly she has hunger-struck for 37 days and not been forcibly fed.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Today -100: August 20, 1914: We are getting the best of it

Pope Piux X has died. Supposedly the 79-year-old pope died from heartbreak over his lack of ability to prevent the slaughter of the Great War.

Fog of War (Rumors, Propaganda and Just Plain Bullshit) of the Day, Atrocities Division: Italians say they were forced out of Germany at gunpoint, starved along the way, and shot when they shouted “Viva Italia!” on being told they were finally being permitted to leave Germany.  German newspapers say that German women were dragged naked by their hair in Antwerp and elsewhere in Belgium and German children were thrown out of windows.  And the (London) Daily Mail repeats a Russian report that Czech and Polish troops in the Austrian army rebelled, shot down their officers, and held Prague for like a day before the Austrians retook the city and slaughtered and pillaged and raped and blah blah blahed.

Fog of War?  Germany purportedly tried to bribe Greece into entering the war on its side by offering it Serbian Macedonia and the Aegean Islands (which Greece already occupied in the last Balkan War, or maybe the one before that).  Greece rejected the offer after hearing that Germany was also offering the Aegean Islands (and Salonika) to Turkey if it joined them.

A French aviator drops leaflets on besieged Liège reading “Keep up your courage, people of Liège.  We are getting the best of it.”

A battle between Mexican horse thieves and Arizona sheriff’s deputies in Devil’s Canyon resulted in the deaths of two of the former and one of the latter.  Later in the day an ambush by the Mexicans resulted in one bandit being killed.  Then, a fight with a posse killed two on each side.  White residents of Ray then invaded the Mexican side of town, killing 7 more and driving the rest into the hills.  Whites are now looking for more Mexicans to kill, as is the custom.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Today -100: August 19, 1914: Be neutral in fact as well as in name

Woodrow Wilson chooses Attorney General James McReynolds for the empty seat on the Supreme Court.  Mostly so he doesn’t have to deal with the thoroughly unpleasant McReynolds in Cabinet anymore.  There really doesn’t seem to have been any more thought behind it than that.  Wilson chose a lot more carefully for the next vacancy, appointing Louis Brandeis in 1916, which made for some awkwardness because McReynolds was a HUUUUGE anti-Semite.  Wouldn’t even talk to Jews, including fellow justices, or listen when a woman lawyer was speaking.

Woodrow Wilson addresses the nation, asking Americans to censor themselves in the name of neutrality:
The effect of the war upon the United States will depend upon what American citizens say and do. Every man who really loves America will act and speak in the true spirit of neutrality, which is the spirit of impartiality and fairness and friendliness to all concerned. The spirit of the nation in this critical matter will be determined largely by what individuals and society and those gathered in public meetings do and say, upon what newspapers and magazines contain, upon what ministers utter in their pulpits, and men proclaim as their opinions upon the street.
The people of the United States are drawn from many nations, and chiefly from the nations now at war. It is natural and inevitable that there should be the utmost variety of sympathy and desire among them with regard to the issues and circumstances of the conflict. Some will wish one nation, others another, to succeed in the momentous struggle. It will be easy to excite passion and difficult to allay it. Those responsible for exciting it will assume a heavy responsibility, responsibility for no less a thing than that the people of the United States, whose love of their country and whose loyalty to its government should unite them as Americans all, bound in honor and affection to think first of her and her interests, may be divided in camps of hostile opinion, hot against each other, involved in the war itself in impulse and opinion if not in action.
Such divisions amongst us would be fatal to our peace of mind and might seriously stand in the way of the proper performance of our duty as the one great nation at peace, the one people holding itself ready to play a part of impartial mediation and speak the counsels of peace and accommodation, not as a partisan, but as a friend. 
I venture, therefore, my fellow countrymen, to speak a solemn word of warning to you against that deepest, most subtle, most essential breach of neutrality which may spring out of partisanship, out of passionately taking sides. The United States must be neutral in fact, as well as in name, during these days that are to try men's souls. We must be impartial in thought, as well as action, must put a curb upon our sentiments, as well as upon every transaction that might be construed as a preference of one party to the struggle before another.
Wilson signs an amendment to the Panama Canal Act to give foreign-built ships US registry.  This will allow German ships which were caught on the wrong side of the Atlantic when the war started to be sold to Americans without being sunk by the British (who insist that the sales of the ships be permanent and not a ruse to avoid being sunk).

Evidently a couple of weeks ago Wilson rejected calls from President Carbajal (and even from a majority of his own cabinet) to send troops to Mexican City to “preserve order” during the Constitutionalist takeover.

The first British forces arrive in France. Field Marshal Kitchener warns the troops, “you may find temptation both in wine and women. You must entirely resist both temptations, and, while treating all women with perfect courtesy, you should avoid any intimacy.”

Headline of the Day -100 (LA Times):  “Swordsmen on Aircraft.”
According to the LAT (and it’s smudged, so I may have the spellings wrong), “Georges Breitmayer and Rouselei Lorcieres, two of the most celebrated swordsmen in France, have enlisted to work machine guns aboard air craft.”

Fog of War (Rumors, Propaganda and Just Plain Bullshit) of the Day -100: the German crown prince is reported wounded.

Fog of War: German troops reportedly burned the town of Bruzweiler and blew up its factories because a German patrol was fired on.  I can’t find evidence that this town ever actually existed.

Fog of War: The London Daily Mail claims that the German General Staff has warned against the “lunatic frenzy” in which automobiles suspected of carrying spies are attacked in Germany, resulting in the recent deaths of 2 officers, 3 chauffeurs, some soldiers, 2 civilians and an Austrian countess.

A letter to the NYT says that panhandlers are pretending to be stranded European army reservists asking for a loan for passage to go home and fight.

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Today -100: August 18, 1914: Of war and, you know, rumors of war

Turkish troops may be marching towards Greece.

Russia demands that Turkey grant its ships free passage through the Dardanelles.

The US is now in charge of the diplomatic interests of Russia, as well as those of every other country in the war except Serbia and Montenegro.

France and Russia come to an agreement whereby France will be nice to any Polish POWs from Austria it captures and Russia will be kind to any POWs it captures from Alsace-Lorraine.

The Belgian government abandons Brussels, moving to Antwerp.

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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Today -100: August 17, 1914: Of ultimata and kings

Japan gives Germany an ultimatum: remove your navy from Japanese and Chinese waters and to turn over to Japan your colony (“concession”) in China, Kiautschou, “without condition or compensation.”  Japan will give it back to China, you know, eventually.

Austria, jumping the gun a little on annexing Russian Poland, names a King of Poland, the Archduke Karl Stephan.  This may be a rumor or someone floating a kite.  So Russia’s offering the Poles “autonomy,” and Austria is offering them... another Habsburg.

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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Today -100: August 16, 1914: Russia expects from you only the loyalty to which history has bound you

The Panama Canal officially opens.

Former NY Gov. Sulzer, impeached last year, is chosen as the Prohibition Party’s candidate for governor, although he refused to sign a pledge of personal total abstinence (though he does claim to be a teetotaler).  “He advised the members of the committee that it would be poor politics to take any such step.  There were several who disagreed with him.”

Fog of War (Rumors, Propaganda and Just Plain Bullshit) of the Day -100: Germany is said to be imprisoning all Russians in the Reich, because Czar Nicholas threatened to send all Germans to Siberia.

Germans are taking mayors, prefects, priests etc of Belgian towns hostage to ensure the towns’ good behaviour.  They’ve supposedly executed a priest.  In each town troops enter they post a proclamation: “The Kaiser Liberator [!] is the champion of the small nations of Europe against the [unreadable, possibly despotic something] of barbarian Russia.”  Another story, which I can confirm, unlike the priest one, is that 11 men were shot in Linsmeau (the gruesome details given in the NYT I’m less sure about).

Russia promises autonomy to the Poles, as well as freedom of language and religion.  After the war, of course.  And the Poles will get “unity,” which either means Russia acquiring Austria’s and maybe Germany’s Polish provinces or possibly treating the Polish parts of Russia as a single unit.  “Russia expects from you only the loyalty to which history has bound you.”  In other words, they’ll still be ruled by the czar.  Also, the Russian army has been ordered not to harm any Poles.  Meanwhile the German Army, moving into Russian Polish territory, issues a proclamation which on one side of the page offers jewels to the Catholic Church and the Madonna, and on the other threatens to blow up any house from which someone fires at German troops.  Poles are meanwhile taking advantage of the weakening of Russian authority to re-establish Polish local governments.

The Russian government is telling all its soldiers and peasants that there’s a solar eclipse coming and that it’s a natural phenomenon, not an evil omen.  A likely story.

Headline of the Day -100:  “Belgian Boy Princes Saddened By the War.”

The Senate passes a bill to regulate opiates, although there’s a loophole for products with under 2 grains of opium, ¼ grain of morphine, or 1 grain of cocaine.  Which would be “soothing syrups” for babies, harmless stuff like that.

The Constitutionalist army enters Mexico City, without a shot fired.

Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands will live the “simple life” during the war.

Secretary of State Bryan says that foreign reservists living in the US cannot be forced to return to their home countries to serve in the military.

The State Dept also says that it would prefer banks not make loans to any of the warring countries.  While not having the power to block such loans, it says they are “inconsistent with the true spirit of neutrality.”  So J. P. Morgan won’t give France a loan, it will give it a “commercial credit.”

Headline of the Day -100:  “Horse Kicks Boy in Buggy.”  Sounds like a euphemism.

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Today -100: August 15, 1914: Of a half Asiatic and slightly cultured barbarism

Headline of the Day -100:  “3,000 in Forts Harass 250,000.”  Liège continues to hold out.

There was an article about censorship of war news in Russia yesterday, and one about Austria today. The civilians of both countries are being kept in absolute ignorance of who’s fighting where and how they’re doing.

Austria is evidently still trying to convince Italy that it is obligated by treaty to come to Austria’s aid.  This is only true if Austria is fighting a defensive war, but, Austria explains in a note to Italy, Britain declared war on it based on lies: “Austria’s war against Servia, an independent State, for a cause which did not affect international politics, cannot be considered as the cause for the present European war.”  And Austria’s declaration of war against Russia was purely defensive, because of Russian mobilization.

German Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg also gives his interpretation of the causes of the war (hint: not Germany), asking the Americans to examine them with unprejudiced eyes: “The sympathy of the American nation will then lie with German culture and civilization, fighting against a half Asiatic and slightly cultured barbarism” (he means Russia).

Maj. Gen. von Bülow, brother of the former German chancellor, is killed in battle.  (Update: The Belgian story, which is a little too Boy’s Own to be true, will be that an 18-year-old Belgian soldier, the sole survivor of the Battle of Haelen, spotted a German officer reading a map, snuck up on him and shot him, then wore his uniform to slip through the German lines on his horse.  Also, there was $27,000 in cash in von Bülow’s pockets, which was appropriated for the Red Cross, and secret documents.)

German airplanes are reportedly dropping pamphlets on Russia’s Polish provinces, urging the Poles to revolt and promising them independence and liberty.

The NYT has stories asserting that the Russian Empire’s Finnish and Polish populations are entirely loyal to the Czar, no matter what you may have heard.

Turkey buys two cruisers from the Germans, and everyone (France, Britain, Russia, Greece, Italy) is quite upset by that.
The Austrian steamliner Baron Gautsch hits a mine off the Dalmatian coast and sinks, killing 150, half of its passengers.

Fog of War (Rumors, Propaganda and Just Plain Bullshit) of the Day -100: the London Times denounces rumors, including one that the Walton-on-the-Naze pier was blown up by the Germans. The rumor caused many holiday-makers to leave town.

Fog of War?  Supposedly the reason the Austrian Army hasn’t done much since the beginning of the war Austria started is that it’s been disintegrating into its constituent ethnic parts.

Headline of the Day -100:  “Fear Duty on New Clothes. Americans Who Lost Baggage on Continent Face a New Terror.”  Not a my-village-is-being-shelled terror, but an I-might-have-to-pay-40%-duties-on-clothes terror.

Married Canadian men volunteering for the war must get written permission from their wives.

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

There is never an excuse for violence against police

Obama made a statement about the Ferguson, Missouri (or Fergy-MO) situation.

“It’s important to remember how this started. We lost a young man.”  We are sooooo careless like that.

“when something like this happens, the local authorities –- including the police -– have a responsibility to be open and transparent about how they are investigating that death, and how they are protecting the people in their communities.”  Well, the Fergy-MO PD shouldn’t be investigating it, as they have forfeited any credibility.  As for how they are “protecting” the people in their communities, well, there are few things as transparent in their intentions as machine guns and armored personnel carriers.

I just used the interjection “well” twice in that paragraph.  Can you tell I’m in the middle of reading Rick Perlsein on Reagan?

“There is never an excuse for violence against police...”  Self-defense against homicidal maniacs seems like a good excuse to me.

“And here, in the United States of America, police should not be bullying or arresting journalists who are just trying to do their jobs”.  But you’ll tell us in what countries it is okay for police to bully and arrest journalists, right?

“There are going to be different accounts of how this tragedy occurred.”  The police account, and the real one.

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Today -100: August 14, 1914: The future of Mexico is in the hands of God

Britain declares war on Austria.

The Netherlands, worried about a possible German invasion, flood some districts to a depth of three feet.

The paper continues to be full of smug stories about how badly the Germans are doing in Belgium.  The Morning Post (London) correspondent says, “Like an angry dog, faced by a porcupine with bristles, defiant at every point, the vaunted Prussian Army stands puzzled.”

From Punch:

(You can tell he’s German because of the sausages.)

Former Provisional President Francisco Carbajal didn’t resign before fleeing Mexico City, because Congress had dissolved and there was no one to resign to.  The rest of the cabinet has also vanished, as well as the federal army.  The army is declared officially dissolved, since you can’t have an army without a government.  That’s a bit worrying, since the former soldiers stripped the arsenals and took all the weapons with them. Says Carbajal: “The future of Mexico is in the hands of God.”

Secretary of State Bryan says that Americans should get passports before traveling abroad.  They cost $1.  He also advises that they should maybe stay out of countries which are at war.

Fog of War of the Day -100: The Daily Citizen (London) says German socialist leader Karl Liebknecht has been shot for refusing to serve in the military.  Nope.

The US Senate ratifies 18 of Bryan’s peace treaties.

The belligerent powers complain about US plans to censor wireless, noting that the British can get around it by simply sending their messages over the border to Canada for transmission.

Headline of the Day -100 (Memphis Commercial Appeal):  “Leg Dropped From Air. Hit a Negro At Prayer and Created More Consternation Than Any Other Event in History.”  In Mississippi, some men spotted a huge buzzard carrying something.  They shot at it, it dropped what turned out to be a white man’s leg onto the aforementioned negro, possibly scavenged from the battlefields of Mexico, and I don’t believe a word of this.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Today -100: August 13, 1914: Of atrocities, safe shipping, mad princes, animated discussions, and monopolies

The French newspapers are accusing German soldiers of burning the Belgian village of Affléville and shooting three people who tried to put out the fire.  This one is actually true.

The British claim to have cleared the entire North Atlantic of German ships, so trans-Atlantic shipping should be entirely safe.  For some reason they fail to mention U-boats.

Britain bans the export of all foodstuffs.

The French government says German soldiers are shooting wounded French soldiers and are wearing Belgian uniforms.

Serb and Montenegrin troops mount a joint invasion of the Austro-Hungarian province of Bosnia.

Headline of the Day -100:  “SERVIA'S MAD PRINCE HIT.; Wounded at Belgrade by Shell While Watching Bombardment.”  I didn’t even know Serbia had a mad prince.

Los Angeles Mayor Henry Rose asks “all good citizens to refrain from animated discussions of the war and its causes, or the merits and demerits of the nations engaged”.

Mexico: provisional prez Francisco Carbajal flees Mexico City, as was the custom for self-proclaimed presidents.

District Court orders the International Harvester Company broken up, as a monopoly in restraint of trade.  The court doesn’t find fault with most of its practices (except falsely advertising that one of the companies in the Trust was independent, to fool people boycotting the Trust into doing business with it), but says the setting up of the company in 1902 by the merger of five companies violated the law.  The NYT thinks the ruling is a blow against efficiency and large-scale production.

Warren D. Harding, as the NYT calls him, wins the Republican primary for US senator from Ohio.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Today -100: August 12, 1914: Of silent wars, codes, mazatlans, war taxes, and last wars

Headline of the Day -100:  “NO BATTLE NEWS REACHING PARIS; Country Is Making War Silently.”  French war news, what little there is of it, doesn’t name individual units or generals, “indicating that there will be no war heroes until the war is over.”  (This article is a good example of how every story in the NYT that originates from one of the combatant countries takes up that country’s boasts and lies.  Evidently the French army will fight this war entirely on German soil, and the Germans can’t win against the French Army’s secret weapon – bayonets!)  France bans war correspondents except those of France and its allies, so no Americans.

Germany declares victory at Mülhausen, Alsace.  France denies that, and calls it Mulhouse.

Fog of War, Dispersed: Kaiser Wilhelm is still in his castle in Berlin, not leading his troops at the front.  he may be crazy, but he’s not stupid.

Germany asks Britain for permission to send telegraph messages in code to the US.  They may have more trouble with the US, which ordered the banning of military wireless messages (which it can do since such messages have to be relayed).

Mexico: the Constitutionalists occupy Mazatlan after the Federals flee.  Wasn’t there a major siege of Mazatlan a few weeks ago?  I’ve totally lost track of this.  15 Fed. officers and 2 soldiers are executed, and left all day in the, I assume, hot sun, as is the custom.

The US Border Patrol discovers a cable across the Rio Grande by which rifles were trollied into Mexico for Pancho Villa.

The US Congress will stay in session because it might need to pass what they’re calling a war tax, that is a tax to make up the tariff revenue lost due to the disruption in trade caused by the European war.

Headline of the Day -100:  “The Lusitania Safe.”  For now.  It arrives at Liverpool.

Switzerland, trying to buy respect for its neutrality, offers to take in the war wounded from every nation.

The America’s Cup race is put off until 1915.

The war still lacks a proper name.  The New York Sun suggests the Pan-European War.  The NYT thinks that’s too “learned” to catch on.  It hopes it will be called The Last War, since it’s beginning to look like H.G. Wells’ prophecies, but without atomic bombs.

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Monday, August 11, 2014

Today -100: August 11, 1914: Of Montene Grins, spies, and amnesties

Montenegrins (or as a typo in the NYT abstract puts it, Montene Grins, which is so much cheerier) capture Scutari, a town whose name I sort of hoped never to hear again after the Balkan Wars.

25,000 Americans are stuck in Germany.

France bans the publication of casualty lists.  And it sounds an awful lot like they don’t plan to contact the families of wounded or dead soldiers, but wait for them to make inquiries when they haven’t gotten a letter in a while.

Belgium has captured no fewer than 2,000 German spies, and shot 100 of them.  That’s a lot of spies.

France breaks off relations with Austria, claiming Austria broke its promise to stay out of the Franco-German war, because there are Austrian troops in Alsace.

Woodrow Wilson sends a commission to the Dominican Republic (consisting of the former governor of NJ, the ambassador to the DR, and a lawyer) to convey his plan for pacifying the country.  I’m sure the Dominicans will be thrilled.

The NYT is horrified at the notion that suffragists might not only ask politicians to support women’s suffrage, but to refrain from supporting other politicians who do not (after suffragists discover that NY gubernatorial candidate Harvey Hinman opposes their cause, they asked Theodore Roosevelt if he’d continue to back Hinman).

The British government orders the release from prison of all militant suffragists.  And a general amnesty for any past crimes, so Christabel Pankhurst can return from her Paris exile.  Some trades unionists in jail because of offenses related to strikes are also released.  No ordinary criminals.

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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Today -100: August 10, 1914: A great work of revenge

Fog of War (Rumors, Propaganda and Just Plain Bullshit) of the Day -100: The Germans are (falsely) reported to be holding the governor of Liège and the bishop of Liège hostage, and will execute them if the forts continue to resist.

French troops have occupied Altkirch and Mülhausen in Alsace.  Gen. Joffre says that those troops are “pioneers in a great work of revenge” (for the defeat by Prussia in 1870).

French troops invade German Togoland from its colony Dahomey (now Benin) at the other end of Togoland from where British troops are invading from their Gold Coast colony.

Fog of War (Rumors, Propaganda and Just Plain Bullshit): A two-paragraph story reports in the first paragraph that Belgium has taken prisoner Prince George, nephew of Kaiser Wilhelm, and in the second paragraph that there is no such person as Prince George.

Fog of War: A two-paragraph story contains reports from two different sources saying that Kaiser Wilhelm is 1) driving to the front in Alsace, and 2) at Aix-la-Chapelle to join the army (probably not in a pick-up-a-rifle sort of way).

Fog of War??  A Belgian newspaper claims that the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg went to personally bar German soldiers entering the capital, and a German officer pointed a gun at her.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Sazonov tells the Duma that Austria started this war, and Russia’s conscience is clear.  Austria provoked internecine war between the Slavs, but “thanks be to God, she will not ruin the work of Slav unification.”

Dr. Roque Saenz Peña, President of Argentina, dies.

Two farmhands, a German and a Frenchman, employed at a farm in New Jersey, fight a duel over the relative merits of the armies of their home countries.  If you can call it a duel when they’re using shotguns and shooting from behind a cow shed and a chicken coop, respectively.  The German tricks the Frenchie into emptying his shotgun at a hat on a pitchfork, but they are stopped before anyone gets hurt.  “Both were reservists in their respective armies and it was believed a desire for target practice as much as anything else led them to fight.”

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Saturday, August 09, 2014

Today -100: August 9, 1914: Thy mirth lay aside, thy cavil and play

Serbia declares war on Germany.

Austria invades Russia, burns some villages.

The war reaches Africa: British troops from the Gold Coast (now Ghana) attack German Togoland (now Togo) and seize Port Lome.

Never let it be said that the war isn’t affecting Americans too: many New York restaurants’ chefs are returning to France to fight, and the NYT is On It!

World War I will produce some great war poetry.  This, by the British Poet Laureate Robert Bridges, is not an example of that:

    Thou careless, awake!
      Thou peacemaker, fight!
    Stand, England, for honor,
         And God guard the right.

    Thy mirth lay aide,
      Thy cavil and play,
    The foe is upon thee
      And grave is the day.

    The monarch Ambition
      Has harnessed his slaves,
    But the folk of the ocean
      Are free as the waves

And it goes on like that.

Elsewhere, the NYT informs us that Serbia’s poetry is the most warlike in Europe.

The NYT correspondent briefly detained in Berlin as a suspected English spy has left the country and it’s probably a complete coincidence that today’s NYT headlines include “Berliners Turn Into Furies” and “Berlin Mad; Paris Quiet.

The Netherlands, while officially neutral, is granting a harbor near Rotterdam to the Vulcan Company, which is evidently acting for Germany.  The Netherlands’ legal jurisdiction over the harbor will be limited.

Fog of War (Rumors, Propaganda and Just Plain Bullshit) of the Day -100: Count Albert du Mun, a Conservative French MP, says he heard that some Danish children were pulled off a German train for shouting “Vive la France!” and shot.

The Sunday NY Times helpfully explains the latest art movement, Vorticism:  “What is Vorticism? Well, like Futurism, and Imagisme, and Cubism, essentially it is nonsense.”

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Friday, August 08, 2014

Today -100: August 8, 1914: Singing Germans are the worst kind

The Germans, still losing huge numbers trying to take Liège, Belgium, ask for a 24-hour armistice so they can retrieve their wounded and dead.  France awards Liège the Legion of Honor.  Germany says their failure to capture the city was not a defeat but “a unique act of heroism in the history of war and a sign of the heroic gallantry of our troops.”

The NYT notes that German cavalry haven’t been much seen in the Liège Siège Siege, but that motor trucks have changed warfare.

French troops have entered Belgium.

And Germany. Well, Alsace; France might argue about whether Alsace is Germany.

Montenegro declares war on Austria.

Germany and Austria are trying to bribe Italy to join the war with “territorial compensation.”  Tomorrow’s paper says this means colony(ies) (as opposed to Nice and Savoy, my first thought), but doesn’t say what colonies.  Tunisia would be my guess.  Anyway, Italy says no, claiming public opinion wouldn’t allow it.

Censorship is more stringent in Germany than, say, France, but the NYT (whose Berlin correspondent has already been arrested as a suspected spy and then released) did manage to get this story through: “Germany Goes Singing to War.”

The British Parliament passes the first Defence of the Realm Act (DORA), giving the government wide powers to prevent spying and, well, any other activity the government didn’t like.  Under another act passed 3 days ago, enemy aliens will have to register with the police and need permits to live in many prohibited areas.  Mass internment won’t be implemented until 1915, though.

Japan seems to have entered the war, sending ships to Tsingtao, the German-“leased” port in China (leased the same way Guantanamo is leased from Cuba).

Three negroes are lynched in Monroe, Louisiana in two separate lynchings for the same crime.

Mexican Federalists say they’ll fight the Constitutionalist entry into Mexico City unless concessions are made.  Constitutionalists say unless the city is surrendered, they will invoke an 1863 law and execute acting Pres. Carbajal and other officials.

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Thursday, August 07, 2014

Today -100: August 7, 1914: I am confident that the ancient war-like spirit still lives in the German people

First Lady Ellen Wilson is dead. Congress was asked to cheer her up on her deathbed by passing her pet bill to clean up the alleys of the District of Columbia, and they did so yesterday, but she died anyway (Bright’s disease).

Austria declares war on Russia.

China declares neutrality.

Massive German bombardment of Liège, Belgium is beginning to destroy the forts protecting it.  Germans continue to lose thousands of troops in what was supposed to be a walkover on the way to Paris.

Fog of War (Rumors, Propaganda and Just Plain Bullshit) of the Day -100: Le Figaro reports that Lt. Günter Freiherr von Forstner, whose thugishness in Zabern, Alsace created such a storm last December, has been captured by the Belgians.  He hasn’t been.

US immigration officials are considering whether to stop some of the European men returning to fight who are leaving their families behind and destitute.

The French Army is put under the command of Joseph Joffre.  “[I]t is a common saying in the army that when Gen. Joffre has once made up his mind nothing will force him to change it.”  Because mental inflexibility is just what you’re looking for in a supreme commander.  He also, the NYT informs us, has a “massive head,” the better to resist penetration by new information.

French Prime Minister Viviani appeals to the women of France to bring in the crops.

Kaiser Wilhelm appeals to all Germans (he means male Germans) capable of bearing arms to do so.  “I am confident that the ancient war-like spirit still lives in the German people”.  Spoiler Alert: it does.  “I know, if needed, each and all of you would die like heroes.”  What’s the German for “wait, what?”

André Michelin, of the French tire company and the guides, offers prizes of up to $20,000 for heroic acts by French military aviators.  Payable to their survivors, if they die all heroically.

The British Parliament votes a £500 million war budget, unanimously, and to increase the army by 500,000 men and the Royal Navy 67,000.

The ban on the importing of arms into Ireland is lifted.

Ramsay MacDonald, the future prime minister and bastard, resigns as leader of the Parliamentary Labour Party (the Labour MPs) because he more or less opposes the war.

So how are the British suffragists taking all this war stuff?  Most of their weekly papers are out today.  Today’s issue of the Women’s Social and Political Union’s paper, The Suffragette, shows how abruptly Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst reversed their position.  Christabel exults that by this war, “a man-made civilisation, hideous and cruel enough in the time of peace, is to be destroyed.”  She portrays the war as Nature’s and God’s vengeance on a people who held women in subjection, although the price of war, she says, will be mainly paid by those women.  This issue was printed but never distributed, because by the time publication day rolled around, she’d changed her mind and now supports the war.  Really supports the war.  Really REALLY supports the war.  It’ll be a few months before The Suffragette appears again, when it will be devoted to accusing certain members of the Liberal government of being insufficiently war-like and possibly German.

In the non-militant National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies’s Common Cause, President Millicent Garrett Fawcett says, “Let us show ourselves worthy of citizenship, whether our claim to it be recognised or not.”  But in the militant Women’s Freedom League’s The Vote, President Charlotte Despard says the “war hysteria” is a sign that materialism and physical force, the very things the women’s suffrage movement has been fighting, still rule.  Despard is the sister of Field Marshal Sir John French, commander of the British Expeditionary Force, and will repeatedly embarrass him by her anti-militarism throughout the war.  Heh heh.  Sylvia Pankhurst, in tomorrow’s Women’s Dreadnought, says that all the women’s organizations of the world call for peace (obviously, she’s not been talking with her mother and sister lately), but men-made governments “rush heedless on to war.”

The Boy Mayor of NYC issues a proclamation calling on New Yorkers not to parade in sympathy with any of the European combatants.  And no flags anywhere except American flags.

Headline of the Day -100:  “Natives Fight Over Roosevelt’s Hair.”  After he got a haircut in Brazil.

Name of the Day -100: Mina Van Winkle, President of the Women’s Political Union of New Jersey.  Supposedly, the suffragists in the state are trying to convert the wife of Gov. Fielder to the suffrage cause in order to get her to persuade him.  Not the most feminist tactic ever.

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