Thursday, November 26, 2015

Today -100: November 26, 1915: I know that moral pressure will not be without its effect

Henry Ford’s letter of invitation to governors and former presidents and other dignitaries to join his Peace Ship says that Jane Addams and Thomas Edison have already accepted, which they haven’t. Asked how he expected to compel the warring nations to participate in the peace conference he intends to call, he says “I know that moral pressure will not be without its effect”.

Spoiler Alert: moral pressure will totally be without its effect.

The NYT notes that the idea of the Peace Ship originated with Rosika Schwimmer, the suffragist and internationalist who would probably not have been thrilled to be described by the Times as Austrian – she’s a Hungarian Jew. After the war Schwimmer had to flee Hungary when it went fascist (proto-fascist? whatever), but was denied US citizenship because of her refusal to take an oath to take up arms on behalf of the United States, a decision upheld by the Supreme Court which said that a citizen has the right of conscientious objection but a non-citizen applying to become a citizen does not, because logic.

The Medico-Legal Society of America wants all states to pass laws making all illegal-drug users, no matter the degree of their drug habit, wards of the state to force them into treatment, rather than wait for them to commit crimes or go insane.

Thanksgiving Day sermons in New York largely focused on the need for military preparedness. A warning someone should have given the Indians at the first Thanksgiving.

Alaska’s delegate to the US Congress, James Wickersham, will introduce a bill for statehood in the coming congressional session.

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