Saturday, February 06, 2016

Today -100: February 6, 1916: The finger of God is beckoning us to go in and possess that land

Germany gives the US its “final” answer on the Lusitania. It complies with most of the US’s demands (reparations, not sinking civilian ships without warning in the future and letting the passengers and crew get to safety), but it won’t use the word “illegal” to describe the Lusitania sinking.

The NYT denounces the bill to give the Philippines independence as “a violation of the trust imposed upon them [the Senate] when possession of the Philippines was taken over from Spain by the McKinley Administration.” It does not explain who “imposed” that “trust” on them. That trust included “teach[ing] them the principles of free government,” because nothing teaches the principles of free government like colonial rule based on right of conquest. “The Filipinos themselves will in time protest against the withdrawal.” Any... day... now...

The Republican Club hears a talk by Ralph Ely, chairman of the New Mexico Republican Committee, calling for the US to annex Old Mexico: “The finger of God is beckoning us to go in and possess that land, for we are the chosen people of today.” The next speaker is W.E.B. Du Bois, who “made a rapid review of what he called injustices to the negroes in the South, and gave statistics of lynchings.” I love the NYT’s “what he called injustices.” So... balanced.

Former president Taft says that primaries are a terrible idea. “From a boss-ridden convention with deliberation you will get better candidates than you will through the primary.”

Inventor Maximilian Weil says battleships could deflect torpedoes with electro-magnets.

Rossini’s The Barber of Seville is performed at the Met on its 100th anniversary. Andrés de Segurola sings Don Basilio and Maria Barientos is Rosina. Rossini banged out the opera in a couple of weeks when he was 24, which is just plain annoying.

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