Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Today -100: August 26, 1915: We have treated elocution as a substitute for action

Haitian President Philippe Dartiguenave, in office less than two weeks following his predecessor’s precipitate removal from office by a murderous mob, signs the convention giving control of Haitian finances and police to the United States. It now has to be ratified by the Haitian Congress and US Senate. Secretary of State Robert Lansing is openly using the term “protectorate.” He says, “The United States Government has no purpose of aggression and is entirely disinterested in promoting this protectorate.” Hell, he says, we haven’t even demanded Mole St. Nicholas be ceded to the US like Guantanamo Bay.

Theodore Roosevelt says Americans should stand by Pres. Wilson only so far as he is right. In a speech at the US Military Instruction Camp at Plattsburg, he denounces “professional hyphenated Americans” and also “professional pacifists and the poltroons and college sissies who organize peace-at-any-price societies,” and the man with a mean soul. He wants every young man in America to be given military training, just like Switzerland. He says the US has “played an ignoble part among the nations” since the start of the world war, shirking its responsibility to defend Belgium. He says, and you know I believe he might just be referring to President Wilson, that “We have treated elocution as a substitute for action. ....  Reliance upon high-sounding words unbacked by deeds is proof of a mind that dwells only in the realm of shadow and of sham.”

Tomorrow Secretary of War Garrison will issue a very public rebuke to Gen. Wood for letting Roosevelt make that speech.

The proposal that the right to vote be contingent on an ability to read and write in English passes the NY constitutional convention. For now.

What the NYT calls the “Grape Juice Hiatus” at the State Department comes to an end, as Lansing reverses Bryan’s ban on alcohol at diplomatic dinners. The NYT asks why grape juice was made the go-to substitute for booze, instead of, say, ginger ale.

Paris jewelers have developed a wrist watch for soldiers - complete with a compass and a glow-in-the-dark radium-coated dial (World War I saw the widespread switch from pocket to wrist watches, which were much more convenient in the trenches).

Headline of the Day -100:

German saboteurs are being blamed lately (sometimes correctly) for every industrial mishap, but this time (in Jersey City) they have gone too far!

Headline of the Day -100: 

That’s why you should always use SPF 30 or higher.

Headline of the Day -100:

I dunno, if Staten Island didn’t have a criminal class, it wouldn’t have any class at all.

Headline of the Day -100:

Nope, I can’t even think of a joke to make about this one.

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