Friday, July 1, 2016

Holscher's Hub: The sunny side of the street

Holscher's Hub: The sunny side of the street

The first day of the Somme

Gordan Highlanders advancing, July 1, 1916.

By this time on July 1, 1916, the British had sustained over 57,000 casualties, of which a little over 19,000 had been killed, at the Somme.  The French sustained a comparatively light number of about 1,500 losses while the Germans had sustained between 10,000 to 12,000.

Roads to the Great War: Ten Almost Random Thoughts on the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of the Somme

Roads to the Great War: Ten Almost Random Thoughts on the 100th Anniversar...: 100 Years Ago Today, the Battle of the Somme Began Last Sunday, I had a wonderful time in Sacramento, CA making a presentation on th...

Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower, married on this date in 1916

The Eisenhower's at his duty station in San Antonio, 1916.

On this date, in 1916, Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower wed in Denver Colorado, her hometown.  She was 19 years old, and he was 25. The wedding took place at her parents home and was presided over by a Presbyterian minister.  The couple met in San Antonio where she was attending finishing school, and where the family also wintered.  Her father was a meat packing executive for Doud & Montgomery and had retired at age 36.  Dwight Eisenhower was, of course, a serving office in the U.S. Army.  An excellent training officer, Eisenhower was not assigned a role that lead in his entering Mexico during the Punitive Expedition, and indeed he remained in the United States in a training role during World War One.

Battle of the Somme commences: July 1, 1916

 British troops marching to the front, June 28, 1916, just before the offensive.

The battle of the Somme commences at this time in 1916.

And with it, a true horror.

 French woman made homeless by the Battle of the Somme.

The Somme: the Hawthorne Ridge Mine

The Hawthorne Ridge Mine, which went off at 07:20 on this day in 1916, shortly before the commencement of the offensive on the Somme.

Garden Progress

Taking a farmer's look at Elisha's annointing.

The LORD said to Elijah:
“You shall anoint Elisha, son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah,
as prophet to succeed you.”

Elijah set out and came upon Elisha, son of Shaphat,
as he was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen;
he was following the twelfth.
Elijah went over to him and threw his cloak over him.
Elisha left the oxen, ran after Elijah, and said,
“Please, let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,
and I will follow you.”
Elijah answered, “Go back!
Have I done anything to you?”
Elisha left him, and taking the yoke of oxen, slaughtered them;
he used the plowing equipment for fuel to boil their flesh,
and gave it to his people to eat.
Then Elisha left and followed Elijah as his attendant.

1 Kgs 19:16b, 19-21

From this past Sunday's readings in the Catholic lectionary, and therefore probably also in quite a few Protestant churches as well. And a very interesting one as well, and in particular for people who know a little about animal agriculture.  Particularly the references to oxen.

First of all, what was Elisha doing at the time Elijah found him.  Plowing, we are informed.  More specifically:
Elijah set out and came upon Elisha, son of Shaphat,
as he was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen;
he was following the twelfth.
We learn a little later the following:
. . .and taking the yoke of oxen, slaughtered them;
he used the plowing equipment for fuel to boil their flesh,
and gave it to his people to eat.
These passages tell us a lot about what Elisha was doing, how he was doing it, and how many people were with him.

First of all, we know he was plowing, and "twelve yoke of oxen" were being used.  Now, that doesn't say that he was using all twelve yokes.  Rather, "he was following the twelfth".  In other words, the field was being plowed with twelve plows.

Does that mean twelve teams of oxen?  Not necessarily, it might actually mean twelve oxen. While we commonly imagine yokes to be for teams of two, they aren't necessarily, and oxen can be singly yoked.  I attempted to learn what would have been the case in the Middle East at this time, but that attempt failed. There's surprisingly (I guess) little information on that topic.  So we know that at least twelve oxen were being used, and maybe twenty four.

That also means that he had at least eleven men working with him, one for each yoke.  But he likely also had a lot more people with him than that.

We are given a clue here in that after he determined that he would in fact follow Elijah, Elisha slaughtered the oxen and boiled their meat, distributing it to his "people to eat".  Twelve oxen would be a lot of food for just twelve people, but its a little odd, if we think he was just outside the farmhouse, for him to be doing that.  But he no doubt was not.

Indeed, the custom everywhere for people using oxen was to keep them at the field where you were using them, and sleep there.  Oxen are slow. And you are using up their energy if you are driving them around just to get somewhere.  Moreover, you can hardly take your plowing equipment out in the field and leave it there and expect to find it all in the morning. So, chances are very high that Elisha and his crew were staying where they were plowing. And chances are also very high that the men who were plowing had families that came along, and preformed domestic chores for them while they were there in the field. When the oxen were slaughtered and boiled, they were probably feeding at least thirty people, but probably something more like forty, or even fifty.

It should also be noted that the oxen probably weren't the giant steer type oxen depicted above.  Indeed, as I don't know the original word, I don't know if it has a gender context.  "Oxen", as a word, did not originally have a gender context in English actually, but merely referred to a bovine used as a beast of burden.  As a word, it descends from the word "aurochs", which was a type of European wold cow.  Aurochs became a world like "ochs", which became "ox".  Only over time did ox come to mean a steer used as a beast of burden. At first, it meant bovine.  Anyhow, beyond that, the really big cattle we have today haven't always been like that.  They weren't tiny by any means, but modern cattle are quite a bit bigger than some (but not all) of their predecessors.  Indeed, I have a packed longhorn in the freezer right now, and while longhorns aren't tiny, their steaks are itty bitty.  They're a skinny steer.

The more surprising thing is that the plowing equipment was sufficient to provide the fuel, although the text does not really say that.  It says he used the plowing equipment for fuel, not that it was all the fuel. And here the reference is probably to more than the yokes, but also the plows, as plows were made of wood at the time.  All in all, it would have been a fair amount of wood.

And it would have been an expensive feast.  Indeed, Elisha was truly committing himself in an irreversible way.

I suppose details like this don't fascinate everyone. But they do me.  A glimpse into the agriculture of the past.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Studebaker 4x4 truck

Studbaker's were converted to 4x4 by NAPCO.  Whether this is an original conversion, or one done later, I couldn't say, although the wheels clearly aren't original.  Nice Studebaker, however.

NAPCO conversions, which manufacturers other than Chrysler to compete in this market with Dodge, have been covered earlier in this blog. The Studebaker NAPCO conversion actually increased the cost of the truck by 1/3d.

There's just something about these old four wheel drives.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The threat of war recedes. June 29, 1916

By June 29, the imminent threat of war was passing.

Note the action by an Austrian submarine. We don't often think of Austria in this context during the Great War.

The easing of the crisis hadn't caught up with the Douglas Budget yet, but it did note that Theodore Roosevelt had declared his political career over, and in sort of a sad way.

I have to say that I find A. R. Merrit's advertisements creepy.  Today, you'll note that they were also inaccurate.  We hadn't declared war on Mexico.  Merritt was jumping the gun.

Tracking the Presidential Election Part VIII. Is there a Brexit lesson for the US election?

There were a lot of early comments about what the British vote to depart the EC means in the context of the US election, and my early view was "no". But in looking at it, and events around the glove, I'm not so sure now and I think there might be something to the suggestion that the vote reflects something going on in the US, and the UK, and indeed perhaps around the world.

In thinking of this, I determined to make this post on it, but sure enough by the time I got ready to do it, at least two national columnist had stolen a bit of my thunder, although to my credit I'd posted on this topic somewhat prior to my reading their columns already.  Anyhow one of the columnist was George F. Will, who wrote an excellent column on the Brexit vote. The other columnist was Susan Stamper Brown.  

A comment of Brown's which mirrors something I posted in my post, was:
It's hard for elitists to comprehend that the commoners they seek to control aren't obsessed with money and power the same way they are. Ordinary people care more about freedom, their kids' future and their country than they care about the mighty Euro or dollar. 
Indeed, I think that's a lot of it.

One of the distraught comments I saw in some columnist's article was the suggestion that the British had voted "for the past".  Maybe, but maybe note, and maybe if they did, there's a lesson in there as well.  Maybe there were things about the past that they liked better than current times, or the future they were headed in.  No "future" is inevitable unless we choose it to be, and if we're headed towards one we don't like, we should change directions.

Will rejects the proposal that the British were voting against history and noted:
By breaking the leftward-clicking ratchet that moves steadily, and only, toward more “pooled” sovereignty and centralization of power, Brexit refutes the progressive narrative that history has an inexorable trajectory that “experts” discern and before which all must bow. The E.U.’s contribution to this fable is its vow to pursue “ever-closer union.” Yes, ever .
Will interestingly also cited Nicolas Sarkozy, on French sovereignty, to the effect that, France was “born of the baptism of Clovis,” and is“a country of churches, cathedrals, abbeys and shrines.” 

The point of this is that people might simply not want what European and American politicians have consistently acted to give them since World War Two.  Seemingly at first they did, but starting in the early 80s, after they had a dose of it, the better evidence is that they no longer desire it. And what that "it" is, is a fully integrated global economy and the globalism that goes with it. Elites have assumed that everyone will be happier with an world that increasingly resembles a cubicle farm, and that everyone wants to live in some version of a bland  big urban area.  One big economic unit with one big boring culture and the goal being to make as much money as you can, so you can live in your bland urban apartment equipped with Netflix.

It turns out, however, that people like their countries and they like their cultures, and they want to keep them.  People  would like to go to the corner pub or bar at the end of the day that's owned by a local, after coming home from their middle class job that might involve turning nuts and bolts.  And they'd like to think that their kids can work those jobs in those towns as well.  It also turns out, as part of that, that people aren't all that keen about shipping out manufacturing jobs to "developing countries".  Not everyone wants to work in a global version of a Microsoft office, and people miss their old farm towns and their blue collar manufacturing jobs.  The promise of a big box world doesn't entice them much.

And it never did.

Nor, really, should it. That benefits mostly the elite themselves who do value money over anything else, it would seem.  Or perhaps only understand that.

This has reflected itself in the Brexit vote.  And it has shown up in the US election in the form of a populist insurgency in both parties.  On the European mainland, it has shown up in the form of rising support of right wing parties mild and extreme.  And of course, the extreme elements that are showing up, including in the current US election, have tended to do so as the concerns mentioned above have been held down by those in power so long that to some extent they've festered and come out in an extreme form.

Where this ultimately goes, of course, nobody knows.  But what it might suggest is that there's something out there that should be given more of the light of day and hasn't. Perhaps the old ideas of Chesterton and Belloc, that were tamped down in the interest of supporting the war effort in  World War Two, deserve to be really considered.  An economic and political economy based more on the locals and principals of subsidarity seem to address the real concerns of average people a lot more than the big concepts of globalism do and are better calculated towards really maximizing people's chances for happy lives.  Unfortunately, they don't get much discussion.

I'm not going to bother with a "tale of the tape" on this one, as this is likely a one off comment post, or if it isn't, unless something surprising happens, there's no real reason to address that topic again until the conventions start, at which time new posts will be entered.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Lex Anteinternet: Brexit Comment Panic

After I posted this;
Lex Anteinternet: Brexit Comment Panic:   As an American, I feel disinclined to get too worked up over the British deciding to leave the EC.  Actually, although this view (or ...
I read two op ed posts making very similar points, the best of which is George F. Will's.  His essay on the topic is excellent and calm.

Brexit Comment Panic


As an American, I feel disinclined to get too worked up over the British deciding to leave the EC.  Actually, although this view (or the admission of this view) is rare, I actually understand it.  I'd likely have voted to leave myself, if I were a British voter, but it's not my country and its not my decision.

Anyhow, its been interesting to watch the reaction by those opposing the departure. Some is very well reasoned, if a bit late, but some is really overblown, panicky, and snobby.  Indeed, I wonder if some of the wounded "stay" folks realize that their attitude might contribute to the view why others wanted to leave.  I've read some of the most amazing commentary, from those blaming it on an "older" (boomer) generation, when that generation in fact voted to get in, in the first place, to one snobbish voter who condemned his entire middle class home town.  Some of it reads very childishly.

Well, folks, keep calm (and carry on).  The UK has been around for a long time and the economy isn't going to collapse, Europe isn't going to spin off the globe, and things will be okay.

Maybe the EC, which has strongly anti democratic statist tendencies, will actually reform and realize that it has to let the residents of the various European states actually have a bit of a voice.  And while I'm sure that the EC will survive, if the entire creaking edifice cracked and the European states had to go back to being fully independent nations without the EC, I'm sure they're quite capable of getting along with each other in 2016 and they will in fact do so quite nicely.

For the history minded, I amazed to note that nobody has seemingly noticed that this story is not a new one. Not even close to being one. The first "EC", if you will, was the Roman Empire, which of course fell apart.  And then there was the attempt at the Holy Roman Empire, which never really got rolling.  For that matter, Charles the Great's domain (Charlemagne, Carolus Magnus) wasn't a minor matter.  Well after that, Napoleon's invasion of everything European was an attempt at getting everyone in Europe together in the name of liberal ideals of a sort, even if a pretty badly flawed one.  I'll omit other such attempts.  In the long history of Europe, it's come together and flown apart, showing I suppose that people who assume that history has one obvious direction are often pretty far off the mark, and showing that a concept of nationhood is a pretty strong one.  But we can take comfort in the fact that no major European power is going to start shooting at another, and therefore perhaps the real foundational thesis of the EC itself is now obsolete.

And the crisis continues. . . news for June 28, 1916.

Today we have an example of a less dramatic Cheyenne newspaper, the Cheyenne State Leader. The crisis with Mexico still dominated the news, however.  

And the news of  the crisis also dominated the Laramie Republican, although political news, that of Theodore Roosevelt drooping out of the race, also made the front page.

Roads to the Great War: Shaving, Disposability and the First World War

Interesting look at the role of World War One impacted shaving:
Roads to the Great War: Shaving, Disposability and the First World War: A Doughboy Shaving in Camp with a Gillette Razor For much of human history, men were stuck with facial hair. Beards were mandatory ...
Another example of Holscher's Fourth Law of History at work?

Monday, June 27, 2016

Hachita, New Mexico raided, June 27, 1916

In spite of the ongoing presence of U.S. troops in Mexico, and a large border presence, a raid by Mexicans of some sort near Hachita, New Mexico, resulted in the deaths of at least two Americans and perhaps more (the details are hard to come by).  The raid was a nighttime raid.

Hachita was used as a staging point for troops entering Mexico during the Punitive Expedition, so a raid in this location is surprising.  The town, like Columbus, is a border town, although a very tiny one.

Tracking the Presidential Election Part VII

Yes, a new one already.  The last one was rather obviously very long, and the GOP now appears to have a candidate with a sufficient number of delegates so as to be able to take the nomination on the first ballot.

The current results:

Democrats:  Needed to win, 2,383.

Clinton: 2,305 (537 of which are Superdelegates)
Sanders:  1,539 (42 of which are Superdelegates)

Republicans:  Needed to win, 1,237.

Trump:  1,238 (of which 88 are unpledged delegates).  Absent unpledged delegates bolting, Trump is the GOP nominee.
Cruz:  560   Cruz has suspended his campaign. (of which 9 are unpledged delegates)
Rubio:  167.  Rubio has suspended his campaign.
Kasich:  161.  Kasich has suspended his campaign
Carson:  8  Carson has suspended his campaign.
Bush:  4  Carson has suspended his campaign.
Fiorina:  1  Fiorina has dropped out of the race.
Paul:  1  Paul has dropped out of the race.


Washington's May 24 results, Republican only, have pushed Trump barely over the top to the required number, although 88 of his delegates are unpledged and therefore could change.  Nine unpledged delegates that had been pledged for Cruz switched over to Trump recently.  Surprisingly, Kasich picked up one delegate since our last tally while Rubio lost one.
The GOP race is therefore more or less over, although a large amount of dissent remains.  As recently as last weekend one of the conservative pundits was still urging an independent or third party run.

The Democratic race, amazingly, remains in contest.  Clinton is very close at this point, but only due to Superdelegates.  There's every reason to believe that Sanders will continue to contest the election all the way to the convention.  This has to be frustrating to Clinton who now clearly faces Trump in the fall but who cannot ignore Sanders.  At the same time, the email issue has revived.


May 30, 2016 

Presumably reflecting changes in pledged delegates the tallies have changed a little; adding a few delegates for the front runners.

Democrats:  Needed to win, 2,383.

Clinton: 2,309 (540 of which are Superdelegates)
Sanders:  1,539 (42 of which are Superdelegates)

Republicans:  Needed to win, 1,237.

Trump:  1,239 (of which 95 are unpledged delegates).  Absent unpledged delegates bolting, Trump is the GOP nominee.
Cruz:  560   Cruz has suspended his campaign. (of which 9 are unpledged delegates)
Rubio:  167.  Rubio has suspended his campaign.
Kasich:  161.  Kasich has suspended his campaign
Carson:  8  Carson has suspended his campaign.
Bush:  4  Carson has suspended his campaign.
Fiorina:  1  Fiorina has dropped out of the race.
Paul:  1  Paul has dropped out of the race.


The only actual reason I bumped this up today is to note that the Wyoming Democratic Party has indicated its going to protest the DNC's allocation of Wyoming's delegates.  Sanders won the Wyoming primary, but the delegates were equally split between Sanders and Clinton. The Wyoming party feel that rather than a 7/7 split, it should be 8/6.

That would make no difference, unless it really comes down to the last vote, in the Democratic contest, but it does demonstrate why the Sanders campaign has been frustrated.  In spite of winning some late primaries, and picking up delegates as a result, the Democrat's process operates such that Clinton picks up nearly the same number, or in the case of Wyoming, she actually did pick up the same number.


June 6, 2016

 After a couple of weekend Democratic territorial races, the tallies are now as follows:

Democrats:  Needed to win, 2,383.

Clinton: 2,383 (571 of which are Superdelegates)  Absent unpledged delegates bolting, Clinton is the Democratic nominee
Sanders:  1,569 (48 of which are Superdelegates)

Republicans:  Needed to win, 1,237.

Trump:  1,239 (of which 95 are unpledged delegates).  Absent unpledged delegates bolting, Trump is the GOP nominee.
Cruz:  560   Cruz has suspended his campaign. (of which 9 are unpledged delegates)
Rubio:  167.  Rubio has suspended his campaign.
Kasich:  161.  Kasich has suspended his campaign
Carson:  8  Carson has suspended his campaign.
Bush:  4  Carson has suspended his campaign.
Fiorina:  1  Fiorina has dropped out of the race.
Paul:  1  Paul has dropped out of the race.


So Clinton is now the unofficial Democratic nominee.  With these results she achieves, but only just achieves, obtaining enough delegates to secure the Democratic nomination, assuming the 571 Superdelegates that are pledged to her remain pledged to her.

Depending upon tomorrow's votes, the question of the loyalty of the Superdelegates may become moot, as over 800 Democratic delegates are to be chosen tomorrow.   The amazing thing, of course, is by this point both parties have chosen very unpopular candidates.  Having said that, the  Democrats chose the highly unpopular candidate they were anticipated to have chosen right from the onset, while the Republicans chose one that they were not anticipated to choose.


June 8, 2016 

The primaries, except for Washington D.C.'s Democratic primary, are now over.  Indeed, while this has been an odd election season to be sure, the election itself is effectively over as well.

The standings.

Democrats:  Needed to win, 2,383.

Clinton: 2,755 (571 of which are Superdelegates)  Absent unpledged delegates bolting, Clinton is the Democratic nominee
Sanders:  1,852 (48 of which are Superdelegates)

Republicans:  Needed to win, 1,237.

Trump:  1,536 (of which 95 are unpledged delegates).  Absent unpledged delegates bolting, Trump is the GOP nominee.
Cruz:  560   Cruz has suspended his campaign. (of which 9 are unpledged delegates)
Rubio:  167.  Rubio has suspended his campaign.
Kasich:  161.  Kasich has suspended his campaign
Carson:  8  Carson has suspended his campaign.
Bush:  4  Carson has suspended his campaign.
Fiorina:  1  Fiorina has dropped out of the race.
Paul:  1  Paul has dropped out of the race.


Sanders took North Dakota and Montana, and South Dakota was a tie.  He did not take, however, California which was really his last hope.

Clinton is only the nominee right now, of course, due to the Superdelegates.  But Sanders would need nearly 500 Superdelegates to bolt Clinton and join him in order to reverse these results and that won't be occurring. Trump, for his part, received all the late delegates in spite of his earlier competitors largely remaining on the ballots of those states choosing yesterday.

The candidates now go on to their conventions in late July.  The campaign of the two main candidates against each other, however, started a couple of weeks ago.

There remains some items up in the air, most significantly a lingering threat that the Never Trump wing of the GOP will bolt for a third party candidate or give their support to the Libertarian candidate in protest.  Likewise, there's a small threat that the Green Party will appeal to Sanders supporters, and even the Libertarian Party might a bit.  This might, therefore, turn out to be a surprisingly good year for both those parties, even though neither has any serious chance of winning.  A good showing, however, might propel those parties into serious parties that have to be contended with.

The fact that Trump continues to face internal opposition is, moreover, significant.  The thought was that the Republicans would pull together after Trump secured the necessary number of delegates but that isn't occurring to the extent it was predicted to.  Indeed, the Never Trump movement, even this late, is hinting that it will back an alternative and it clearly would have run one but for the fact that those that it approached declined to run. That fact is hugely significant for the Democrats as its heavily symbolic of this election cycle.  By choosing Trump the Republicans have chosen a candidate that even the massively unpopular Hillary Clinton is likely to easily beat and even a fair number of Republicans can't support.

This thread will continue on, unless it grows to big, until at least the Convention.  Or until something surprising happens and a new one is needed.  In a year of surprised, who knows, that could happen.


Following Tuesday's primaries, I thought there was a chance that Bernie Sanders might concede.

Nothing doing, apparently.

Indeed, he's taking a lot of heat for it, but he's contesting for the Washington DC primary, the only one left, which occurs next week.

It's a bit difficult to see what Sanders end game is at this point, and there's a lot of speculation about it.  Indeed, Democratic commentators are getting a bit spastic about it, demanding that he concede. Some are speculating that he is now campaigning for concessions from the platform, or to impact the direction that the Democrats are going in.  Maybe. But there's also speculation that he intends to angle for the Superdelegates, perhaps to drop Clinton below the assured number and cause a brokered convention.  That would seem odd, as he wouldn't win that, but who knows.  His campaign has been a difficult one to accurately predict.

In any event, the irony of it is that Sanders is doing what everyone thought the Never Trump Republicans would do, campaign to the bitter end. They basically dropped out, however, before the matter was really decided.  The hard to predict Sanders hasn't.

June 28, 2016

I never did put the final count in here, and I've been well aware of that, but I've figured everyone was so sick of this that they'd want a break.

Anyhow, after the D.C. primary, which went to Clinton, this stand as follows:

The standings.

Democrats:  Needed to win, 2,383.

Clinton: 2,811 (591 of which are Superdelegates) 
Sanders:  1,879 (48 of which are Superdelegates)

Republicans:  Needed to win, 1,237.

Trump:  1,542 (of which 95 are unpledged delegates). 
Cruz:  560   Cruz has suspended his campaign. (of which 9 are unpledged delegates)
Rubio:  167.  Rubio has suspended his campaign.
Kasich:  161.  Kasich has suspended his campaign
Carson:  8  Carson has suspended his campaign.
Bush:  4  Carson has suspended his campaign.
Fiorina:  1  Fiorina has dropped out of the race.
Paul:  1  Paul has dropped out of the race.


Not surprisingly, there was a time after everyone had dropped out that Trump's poll standings surged and he appeared to be more likely to win that Clinton, but that only lasted for a week and he's been on the rocks ever since.  Now experienced observers have wondered what he's been doing the past month, and he has been in the news a lot less.  Today finds him, oddly, in Scotland where he commented following the Brexit vote. Things frankly don't look good for him at all, and in a race in which he only has Clinton to take on, he's not taking her on effectively at all.

The conventions, which will cause new entries or at least a new entry in this series, will spike each candidates numbers following the respective conventions, but this now appears to be on a fairly certain trajectory.  The GOP establishment does not appear to be rallying to Trump, which pundits said it would.  The terrorist attack in Florida does not appear to have made him look like a better option, as some predicated a terrorist attack would, and mostly he seems sort of stuck. Clinton, on the other hand, doesn't appear stuck at all, even if she doesn't appear to be popular either.

I wasn't going to update this thread until the conventions, but I've done so now due to all the other political races gong on and it would have accordingly been odd not to.  Internationally we have the Brexit vote, of course, and the following resignation of David Cameron.  Locally we have a U.S. House race heating up in which one campaign manager went so far as to claim he didn't know that one of his opponents "was still running".     And around the state we did have some Democrats that were looking good, but the national party effectively murdered them this week with their childish sit in on the floor of Congress and, moreover, true to form local Democrats, or at least one, couldn't shut up long enough not to suddenly come out looking like a radical proponent of gun control, which ends that campaign even if the candidate doesn't seemingly know that.


I thought it unlikely that I'd have anything to update in this thread prior to the conventions, at which time I'd start new ones, but a surprising event did occur.

Longtime Republican columnist and intellectual figure George F. Will officially announced that he is leaving the GOP.   This is not minor news.  Will is actively opposed to Trump and Republicans themselves seem to be wavering.  Some dismiss this as the discontent Republican elite simply pouting, but its' more than that.  Trump is not gaining the support that many assumed he would after he became the presumptive nominee, and there is no indication that his support in traditional Republican quarters is going to grow.

At the same time, there's some curious speculation now amongst pundits that Trump may actually quit the race prior to the election.  This has been commented upon in more than one columnist's writings, although the writers may be feeding off of themselves in this speculation.

Recent polls show Trump behind Clinton, which is not surprising, but one now shows him far behind.  His campaign appears to have become somewhat lost and with Republican figures now actively opposed to him the campaign is in serious trouble.


The News Around the State for June 27, 1916

Tuesday June 27, 1916, saw a variety of approaches to the news of the ongoing crisis with Mexico.

The Wyoming Tribune, a Cheyenne paper that tended to be dramatic in its headlines, was dramatic for June 27.

Quite the dramatic cartoon about "civilization following the flag" as well, presenting a colonial view that a person can't imagine seeing in a paper today. Indeed, its hard not to imagine the cartoon offering offense, and frankly even viewing it now, it offers it.

The Sheridan Record, however, was less so, if still pretty presenting some pretty worrisome news.

The Laramie Republican was the least dramatic of the examples we have here, but presented the same set of news stories, more ore less.

Monday at the Bar: Courthouses of the West: Old Anchorage City Hall, Anchorage Alaska

Courthouses of the West: Old Anchorage City Hall, Anchorage Alaska:

Once the largest building in Anchorage, albeit only very briefly, this city hall held all the municipal offices from 1936 until some date in the 1970s. 
A fairly substantial building, it provides additional evidence of how surprisingly busy Anchorage was during the 1930s.

The Big Picture: Holscher's Hub: New York Yankees v. Colorado Rockies, Coors Field....

Holscher's Hub: New York Yankees v. Colorado Rockies, Coors Field....

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The death of the a bad idea. . . at leat for awhile

I've spent a fair amount of time this political season commenting on how odd the season has been, and how it seems we have two candidates that people are less than thrilled to have, so its a relief to be able to report something positive about both candidates and  the death of a bad political idea.

That bad idea is the concept of transferring land from the Federal government to the states.  As I've repeatedly warned here, that transfer would not stop there, it'd ultimately go to the rich, and it wouldn't take very long.

Well, it turns out that at least three of the rich agree with me, and those three are Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Jr., and Hillary Clinton. 

So, this bad idea is dead, or at least it will not being going anywhere for the next eight years. 

The Trump campaign's statements came from Donald Trump Jr. (the elder Trump has mentioned them before, in an interview with one of the outdoor journals) in a statement delivered to the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Alliance, a conservation organization that's fighting these terrible ideas. The news couldn't be more welcome, and Trump put it in the correct context.  He frankly stated that the land would end up in the hands of private land owners and the states couldn't be trusted not to do that.  That's an amazing statement from a campaign that's been running as a conservative one, whether it is or not.  The Clinton campaign immediately endorsed the same view. So the two campaigns have come out in full agreement with each other on this issue, one that matters hugely to sportsmen and rural residents.

Indeed a survey of Wyoming's residents found that they are overwhelmingly opposed to transferring the land away from the Federal government.  Only the local GOP is in favor of this, which means that the GOP  here openly acts in contempt of the majority view of Wyoming residents and of its own members.  This should provide a huge avenue for Democrats in the state, but the fact that our Democratic party can't help but commit suicide (one Democrat running locally has slowly been increasing her comments in favor of gun control and legalization of marijuana, an act so delusional here she might as well be hunting her fellow Democrats down and beating them with sticks).  But that doesn't mean that the GOP can afford to ignore this.

Nor can the national party.  If the GOP doesn't want to slide into irrelevance contempt for the rights of common people, such as rural residents and less than wealthy public land users, can't continue to go on.  This would be a good place for them to pull off the road and consult the road map.

Roads to the Great War: Father Duffy: Why Was He Beloved?

Roads to the Great War: Father Duffy: Why Was He Beloved?: At Times Square New York Father Francis Duffy was the chaplain of New York's 69th Infantry, which fought in France as the 165t...

The Wyoming Tribune for June 26, 1916. On the verge of war

The Wyoming Tribune could always be counted on to be the most dramatic of Wyoming's newspapers at the time.  This June 26 edition was no exception.

Of interest, Little Big Horn was being reenacted, with only forty years having passed since that event.

Also of interest, while the mobilization of the Guard, the raising of the Wyoming National Guard, and the crisis with Mexico remained important news, these events once again were no longer of the front page of nearly every local paper after this date.  They didn't disappear, they just weren't there every day.  The fear that the US would go to war with Mexico started to subside, even if remained a very real fear.

Sunday Morning Scene: Churches of the West: St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Dubois Wyoming

Churches of the West: St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Dubois Wyoming:

This is St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Dubois, Wyoming. The church was constructed in 1910, and has been added on to since that time.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Randon Snippets: Who you are.

In the world to come they will not ask me, "Why were you not Moses?" They will ask me, "Why were you not Zusya?"

Rabbi Zusya

The Sunday State Leader for June 25, 1916: The prisoners of Carrizal

More news of the defeat at Carrizal, but happy news for Miss Ellen Smith.

The war in Europe was pushed completely off of the front page of this Sunday morning Cheyenne paper due to events in Mexico.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Words and work

It is an odd thing, I'd note, to learn that a person who publishes on the dangers of big government was employed by government.

I suppose there can be explanations for that, and people can change their views of course.  But, as is so often the case, people's words don't always match their histories.  Critics of government working for the government at one point. . . super patriots who didn't answer the call to serve when it was available. . . proponents of gun control who carry guns themselves.


Welcome Home PFC Harold Schultz, USMC

All these years, PFC Schultz, who is one of the flag raisers on the iconic Rosenthall photograph and the USMC Ogg film of the raising of the second flag at Iwo Jima, was misidentified as Corpsman Jack Bradley.

Bradley did in fact participate in the first raising.

First flag raising at Iwo Jima.

The mistake is a natural one.  The events happened rapidly, under still hostile conditions, and the area looks much different from different angles.

Discovery of the error is a tribute to close photographic analysis.  When a description of how it was done is read, it's quite obvious that the error was made, although it is surprising that it took so long.

Schultz apparently knew he was in the photograph, but never said a thing.  He went on to a career in the Post Office, and like all of these men, has passed on.

The British vote to leave the European Union

 From another era, but seemingly the way a little over half the population of the United Kingdom viewed events to some exent.

Fueled at least in part by a feeling that the membership in the EU had subjected the island nation to a level of immigration from the Middle East that it could not absorb, and further stoked by long discontent with statist European EU administration that clashed with the more democratic British tradition, the British voting population voted to get out of the EU.  This was only the fourth referendum in the UK's history, one of the other four, ironically, being one in the 1970s on whether or not the UK should join.  

Opposition to leaving the European Union was the stated policy of both the Labour and the Conservative parties and so the success of the Brexit position came against the influence of Britain's oldest most established parties, showing perhaps how deep the resentment against the EU had become.  Much of the opposition platform was focused on the unknown economic impact of leaving, showing what we stated in a post yesterday is in fact, a fact; people don't focus that much on economics on these sorts of decisions, which are more about a sense of nationhood and emotion than currency.  The British basically voted to try to make sure their island nation, or nations, remained theirs rather than moving into a less certain national future.  While this seems to have come to a surprise to many, and indeed I'm surprised that Brexit won, it may reflect a rising tide of such sentiment across Europe, which now has more countries, albeit within the EU, than it did in 1990 when the Soviet Union fell. 

This has caused some speculation that Scotch seperatists might now succeed in taking Scotland out of the UK so it can get back into the EU, and even if Northern Ireland might now reunite with Ireland.  I doubt that very much and think the speculation about nationalistic Ulster particularly misplaced.  Indeed, by far the more likely, if still not likely, national implications is that forces wanting to take Germany, France or Ireland out of the EU will now have some success with their movements.  Again, I don't think that likely to occur, but then I didn't think this was likely either.

You really can't fault an independent nation for wanting to go on its own. So wise or not, a raise of the beer glass to the UK and best wishes to it.

On the implication, nobody knows what they will be other than some short term financial ups and downs which may come to nothing.  More likely is that the UK will simply quietly exist over the next several years and resume independent relations with a somewhat spiteful European Union thereafter. That will likely cause a downturn in the European economy in the short term but a rise in it in the long term as it will free the UK from some of the EU's less rational economic policies. And this might cause the EU to reconsider some of its approach to how it does things which have been heavily bureaucratic and not very democratic.

One immediate impact has been political fallout, and as part of  that Conservative British Prime Minister David Cameron, who successfully shepherded the nation through the recent referendum in Scotland about whether that nation would stay or leave the United Kingdom, resigned, or rather indicated that he will be stepping down.  Cameron has been quite unpopular recently and not all of his "conservative" position have really been that and to some extent his unpopularity may have been a partial source of the Brexit vote.  He'll be leaving in October, and indicated in his departing speech:  "A negotiation with the European Union will need to begin under a new prime minister and I think it's right that this new prime minister takes the decision about when to trigger Article 50 and start the formal and legal process of leaving the EU".  He was gracious in his departure and understandably is leaving this for the next administration to handle.  It'll be interesting to see how in fact it is handled, as the Brexit vote did not succeed by a huge margin and Parliament is not technically bound to follow it, although it seems like it will.

In regard to politicians, perhaps the oddest commentary came from Donald Trump, who is oddly enough in Scotland right now.  Most American politicians would be wise enough to shut up on events of this type, but some have seen the hard right political movements in  Europe, and this is sort of (and sort of not) in that category, as part of the same general societal movement that brought Trump into the position of GOP nominee. Trump congratulated the  Brexit vote and then noted that if the pound fell it would be good for one of his golf courses in Scotland.

Friday Farming: Women's Land Army, California

The Cheyenne Leader for June 24, 1916: News of Carrizal hits the press.

The U.S. Army set back at Carrizal hit the press in full force by June 24.  On the same day the press reported that the Germans had one another victory at Verdun, while stopping the "Slavs", when in fact the Russian offensive had terminated the German's hopes at Verdun.

Railhead: Fantasy worlds and rail transportation. . . limiting conveyance by rail

Fantasy worlds and rail transportation. . . limiting conveyance by rail.

Of our various blogs, this one has been, by far, the least likely to see a commentary post.  Indeed, this appears to be the very first one.  But as this one involves rail transportation, I'm going to post it here.

Readers of the blog where I typically post commentary, Lex Anteinternet, know that I've posted a lot of comments on the hard times in the petroleum and coal industries, particularly in Wyoming.  As part of those, I've categorically rejected the popular thesis in Wyoming that the Federal government is engaged in a "war" on the energy industry, or that there's some gigantic conspiracy to do the energy industries in.  In this post, however, I will comment on a type of "not in my backyard" effort that's really shortsighted, and which give credence to those who feel ignored and oppressed in this area.

Recently there was a big derailment in Mosier, Oregon. That occurrence has lead to an effort, centered in the Pacific Northwest but focused nationally, to ban the transportation of petroleum oil by rail.

That's just flat out absurd.

I guess its obvious that I'm a railroad fan, why else, after all, would a person have a blog dedicated to railroad features, so perhaps I'm partisan.  But campaigns of this type strike me as very ill informed in some ways. The concept seems to be that, because all of the cars are on a single train, a train purposes a unique danger that other  means of transportation do not.  That's simply not correct.  The other means are truck and pipeline.  The hundreds of trucks that replace a single train pose a danger as well, and arguably a much greater one as the risk would have be assessed for each single truck, not just one as if it were a train.  Pipelines are probably safer, although pipeline spills do occur, and the are basically permanent. Rail lines have other uses for other types of trains.

I suspect that much of this movement doesn't even directly relate to safety, but rather is part of an environmental movement on the Pacific Coast that has been pretty successful in shutting down the loading of coal by sea.  Given the current economics of coal, I'm not nearly as convinced, however, that this has been that detrimental to coal.  It's the low price and declining use that has been.  But I suspect there's a poorly thought out concept that if the shipping of oil by rail is stopped, people quit using it.

Not hardly.

This view, I'd note, is supported by some comments from a Pacific Coast environmental activists, who is quoted as saying in a newspaper as follows:

On the evening of June 6, more than a hundred climate activists met at the First Unitarian Church in downtown Portland to discuss their response to the oil train derailment in the Columbia River Gorge three days earlier, said 350PDX director Adriana Voss-Andreae. 
“The call for a temporary moratorium on oil trains is a call for a shred of decency for the Mosier community, but it does nothing to meet the magnitude of the problem,” she said. “If the government won’t stop the bomb trains, then we must do so ourselves. There will be a mass direct action in the coming two weeks. We encourage all to join.”
Climate activists claiming its a "bomb train"?  Well, I'm skeptical. Either they simply oppose the shipping of all fossil fuels by any means, or their activism is unfocused.

Well, whatever a person might think about climate change, pretending that preventing shipping by rail is going to have some impact on the use of fossil fuels is just fooling yourself.  And, ironically, trains are by far the most efficient, and hence the most "green", of any means of transportation we have.  Putting the same oil on the road in trucks is at least as dangerous and a lot dirtier.  And that's probably what would happen if the oil wasn't shipped by rail.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Not everything is about the money. . .

in fact a lot of things aren't.

Maybe most of them aren't.

Which is why I'm sick to death of reading "How Brexit may effect your portfolio".

Yes, a lot of the British are voting to leave the EC. And yes it'll have some effect (probably a lot less dramatic than claimed) if they do on their economy, on Europe's economy, and on our economy.

And they know that.

But so what?

That's not what the vote is about, and the analysts who seem to think it is are out to lunch.

Questions of sovereignty have little to do with economics.  Ireland would have been better off staying in the UK right after World War One. Yugoslavia made better economic sense than Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia.  Czechoslovakia was certainly a better economic unit than the two countries it ended up being.

And Switzerland, in terms of its economy, ought to join the EC.  Canada, if its thinking only of money, should become part of the US.

But that's now how people think, nor do we want them to think that way.  It's sad that so many do think that way. 

Whether the UK should get out, or stay in, the EC, isn't a question solely based on pounds and euros.

The point at which American democracy childishly died by sitting down and pouting on the floor.

U.S. House Democrats, a minority in the House, have decided to sit on the floor until they get their way on voting for several gun control bills that would, if voted upon, fail.

A persons view on this story, admittedly, tends to vary based on their view on the topic of gun control.  Opponents of gun control view this as a silly thing.  Some proponents view it as a heroic one.

Well, I submit, it's childish and disturbing no matter what your view is.

Now, I'll further state that if I ran the House of Representatives I'd let votes proceed.  But then I'd let there be a vote on every bill without them going through committee, and without their being wrapped up in other bills.  There is in fact a legislative body that does basically that, and its the oldest deliberative body in the world, the House of Commons in the English Parliament.  

The Parliament lets every bill be voted on.  Introduce them, and they get voted on. And that's the way it should be.  The U.S. Congress has, instead, developed this Byzantine process where bills have to go through committees, etc., before they can get anywhere.  That's anti-democratic by its very nature, and I'm opposed to it.  But it is the system that's been used in Congress for eons, and the Democrats and the Republicans have used it without complaint for a very long time.

Essentially, therefore, what the minority Democrats are complaining about is that they aren't getting their way.  They're trying to dictate what the majority party does.  That's not the way the system works.  No party out of party can legitimately sit down in protest and implicitly say "the majority won't let the minority have an exception to the rules".  

And they know that.

What they also know and hope is that this makes this issue, which is a popular one in urban areas, but a very unpopular one in rural areas (the Democrats in the House are effectively slitting the throats of the Wyoming Democratic Party which was beginning to show signs of life again), an issue in the fall.  Democrats like to claim that the GOP blocks "common sense gun control" due to  the "gun lobby", which translates as GOP voters not liking gun control and using the NRA to support its view (it'd be interesting to see how Democrats would react to being accused of blocking "common sense protection for the unborn" by serving the "death lobby", probably not well).

And what they also ought to know is that by taking this approach, and tying it to memories of the Civil Rights movement, they're going to see it used again, against them, on things that are legitimately closer in spirit to the Civil Rights movement.  While Pelosi and crew sit there they ought to realize, when they return to power, and sooner or later they will, they're going to hear "Madam Speaker, if you won't bring my bill to the floor to protect the living at all ages, while I'll just sit down right here . . . "

But, whatever a person's view, this symbolizes the ongoing demise of democracy in this country.

Not that it suddenly arrived.  Both parties are to blame and this has been going on ever since the GOP decided to attempt to remove President Clinton for having an affair with an aid. That was reprehensible on his part, but it had nothing to do with legitimate politics and frankly it didn't impact the country in any fashion.   Following that both parties have increasingly criminalized bad economic choices and bad political choices, which is appalling.  This election cycle we're seeing a primary process in which the Democratic Party has put in an entire class of delegates that the party gets to choose in case the people do the wrong thing, and a system which confuses party membership with voting rights has helped nominate a Republican candidate that has very little chance of winning.

Many have speculated this year on whether a third party might have a chance at gaining the presidency this year.  I doubt it, but one certainly has a better chance than in prior years.  Would that one would have a chance getting into Congress on the platform of acting like adults, not penalizing economic and business decisions, and actually performing those acts required of it in the Constitution. 

But that's not going to happen.

The Casper Weekly Press for June 23, 1916

Some of the news of June 23, 1916, is freakishly familiar a century later.

The Big Speech: G. K. Chesterton on the rich, the poor and anarchy.

You've got that eternal idiotic idea that if anarchy came it would come from the poor. Why should it? The poor have been rebels, but they have never been anarchists; they have more interest than anyone else in there being some decent government. The poor man really has a stake in the country. The rich man hasn't; he can go away to New Guinea in a yacht. The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly; the rich have always objected to being governed at all. Aristocrats were always anarchist.
G.K. Chesterton, The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Punitive Expedition by mid June, 1916. Where are we at in this story?

We started posting regularly about the Punitive Expedition of 1916 with the anniversary of Pancho Villa's raid on Columbus New Mexico, which of course resulted in the expedition being launched.  Indeed we started our coverage of the raid with what amounted to an hour by hour account of the March 9, 1916 attack, and we've tried (but sometimes missed) to cover the event that happened since then, a century ago, in sort of a "real time fashion".  For some of these events, we've included daily newspaper front pages, hoping to present to our readers how this would have appeared to people at home on a daily basis, while still covering the larger events of the expedition, and the day, as well.  Hopefully its been entertaining and instructive. 


But we also fear that this daily approach may cause a little bit of a loss of a sense of where, in overall terms of history, things are actually at right now.  After all, we don't live in 1916, so we don't have the sense of daily presence about 1916 that we do, presumably, about our own day and times.  And because events do not appear every day, there's some risk that our story is getting a bit lost.  So where are we in this tale?  Perhaps a recap is in order.

And in presenting that recap, perhaps I should add a little that I omitted, or at least didn't cover in great detail, about the background to the expedition that I didn't before.  Columbus New Mexico is typically treated as a shocking event as Mexican revolutionary forces crossed into the United States and attacked an American town.  What's missed is that this violence started before that, and Columbus wasn't the first raid

The Mexican Revolution that broke out in 1910 had featured an American presence in some fashion since its onset.  Indeed, Madero, in bringing the revolution about, crossed over from the US back into Mexico. So that the US would end up unwilling involved in the Mexican Revolution was inevitable.  Madero actually issued his Plan of San Luis Potosí from San Antonio, Texas, not Mexico, showing the early role the state was to unwillingly play.  That very year, as a result of the revolution in Mexico, the US stationed additional troops along the border to protect American lives and property.

The war first spread across the border June 1911 when Mexican federal forces defeated rebels at Tijuana, which they had earlier captured, and drove them across the border to  San Ysidro, California where they surrendered to the Americans.  The rebels themselves may have had some members who had been living in California, and they were not Madero's men but rather members of a radical left wing anarchist group, showing how diverse the Mexican Revolution was from the very start.

Americans were attacked for the first time that prior April when Maderistas engaged Mexican federal forces at Agua Prieta.  During the engagement the Mexican army crossed the border and attacked American troops in Douglas Arizona, who intervened in the action with the result that Aqua Prieta was left in rebel hands.  That same month, however, American forces in El Paso exchanged fire with rebels under Madero and Villa who were fighting for control of the Mexican city of Juarez.  Madero prevailed in his war with the Mexican government that year and became president, but the violence would not end, as we've already seen.  Madero would seen rebellion from his former allies, and from the former Mexican federal army, by 1912.  Revolution returned to Mexico that year.

1913 would see no attacks across the border by Mexican forces, but it did see Mexican federal troops cross to surrender after they were defeated at Nogales by troops lead by General Obregón.  The following year, 1914, brought US intervention at Vera Cruz, which we've otherwise covered, but which shows the extent to which the relationship between Mexico and the United States had deteriorated.  Indeed, diplomatic relations had been severed.

 [U.S. Naval occupation of Vera Cruz, Mexico: Tower at Vera Cruz damaged by shells from U.S.S. CHESTER - Mexican War]
 Tower damaged by Naval gunfire in the Battle of Vera Cruz.

In October of that year Mexican rebels fired into the U.S. Army camp at Naco Arizona while fighting Federal troops in Naco Sonora.  American cavalrymen, however, did not return fire in spite of some being wounded as a result of the rebel fire.

In 1915 relations between the US and Mexico got a little bumpier with the eccentric Plan de San Diego (Texas) was discovered in which some Mexican faction, which is unclear, expressed an intent to recapture land lost to the US during the Mexican War.  The origin of the plan, and who was responsible for it, remains unclear, but it called for an uprising in February 1915 to be followed, should it succeed, by the execution of all non Mexican white males in the newly "liberated" territory. As Quixotic as it was, its followers did engage in some raids in July 1915, several months after they were supposed to have occurred.  The raids, which commenced on July 11, 1915, targeted Mexican Americans, ironically, and went through September of that year until they were addressed.  Property destruction, and at least one assassination, were features of this effort, which was lead by a Mexican American but which depended upon Mexican support for material and about half the men used in the campaign.  About 300 Mexican Americans died in the struggle, some in reprisal raids by white Texans.  The odd small uprising ended when the Wilson administration recognized Carranza who then operated to terminate Mexican support for the campaign, which at least raises some questions.

Unrelated to this, that same year, Villistas engaged US forces in Nogales in a light action that represented a spill over over the siege in Nogales Sonora.  Fighting later that year resulted in the disastrous decision by Wilson to allow transit of Constitutionalist troops by rail over Texas, which we already addressed, and which we believe is directly responsible for the Columbus raid a few months later.

Prior to that, however, in January 1916 Villa drew the horrified attention of Americans when his forces executed eighteen Americans who were removed from a train at Santa Isabel, Chihuahua.  The horrific action was made without any excuse that's rational and naturally defined many people's views of Villa at that time.  The raid on Columbus followed that March, which is where we of course picked up the story. 

 Villa leading his forces prior to his 1915 defeat at Celaya
In that story, we've been dealing with the Punitive Expedition itself, but we missed a couple of subsequent raids that occurred in spite of the large force of Americans pursuing Villa in northern Mexico.  But first we'll get to events in the story that actually preceded those. 
On April 1  the 10th Cavalry fought The Battle of Agua Caliente.

 Agua Caliente in better times.  The name of the town means "Hot Water".
The 10th Cavalry encountered 150 Villistas under General Beltran at the town of Agua Caliente.  The ensuing battle resulted in a true cavalry charge of Mexican positions.  Mexican forces broke under the charge which resulted in no losses to the Americans.
The unit thereafter pursued retreating Villistas for the next several days. As the unit advanced it ran short of provisions due to being so isolated.  The unit became partially provisioned with the assistance of Constitutionalist officers and through the efforts of their commanding officer, who wrote a personal check to a mining company in exchange for $1,100.00, which was used to purchase provisions.  Amazingly, only one day prior to the battle  The 10th Cavalry become isolated by a blizzard
On  April 8 troops under R. L. Howze nearly got into an engagement with Mexican Federal troops.   Two days later, however, they clashed with Villistas, April 10, 1916. near La Joya de Herrera and dispersed them, killing their commander, a Captain Silva.
On April 12-13 the U.S. Army found that it was now confronting Constitutionalist forces, i.e. the recognized government of Mexico, in the  The Battle of Parral.  With this, which had been coming on for awhile, the expedition entered a new and very dangerous phase. 

 Corporal Richard Tannous, 13th Cavalry, wounded at Parral.
U.S. cavalry under Major Frank Tompkins, who had been at Columbus the day it was raided and who had first lead U.S. troops across the border, entered Parral and was met with hostility right from the onset.  Warned by an officer of Carranzas that his Constitutionalist troops fire on American forces, Tompkins immediately started to withdraw them  During the withdraw, with hostile Mexican demonstrators jeering the U.S. forces, Mexican troops fired on the American forces and a battle ensued.  While Mexican forces started the battle, it was lopsided with the Mexicans suffering about sixty deaths to an American two.  Tompkins withdrew his troops from the town under fire and sought to take them to Santa Cruz de Villegas, a fortified town better suited for a defense.  There Tompkins sent dispatch riders for reinforcements which soon arrived in the form of more cavalrymen of the all black 10th Cavalry Regiment. 
Tompkins' troops reentered Parral two days later. This marked the high water mark of the Punitive Expedition.  At this point, the Punitive Expedition reached its deepest point in Mexico.  This is both impressive, as it happened so rapidly, and a bit deflating, as after only one month of operations the mission to pursue Villa had effectively been halted and converted into one that was now sort of an indistinct policing occupation, which hoped for more aggressive Constitutionalist policing of the border. 

LoC caption:  "Removing Sgt. Benjamin McGhee of the 13th Cavalry who was badly wounded at Parral, Mexico."
 Hugh Scott
Gen Hugh Scott, Chief of Staff of the United States Army, and General Alvaro Obregon, Minister of War of the Mexican Government, met in El Paso to discuss problems that had arisen due to the American intervention in Mexico.  The meetings continued to May 2 and resulted in an understanding between the two governments providing that the United States would slowly withdraw from Mexico and the Mexican government would undertake measures to prevent future raids into the United States.  The understanding was then submitted to the governments of the respective parties to see if they would agree to it.  They didn't.
Alvaro Obregon
On May 5 Villistas crossed the border again, amazingly, this time at Glenn Springs and Boquillas Texas.  A Villista force of over 200 men were held up by a much smaller party of US troops of the 14th Infantry and the raid, which was mostly designed to acquire supplies, turned to property destruction.  The US lost three soldiers and once civilian killed in the raids and captured a Villista officer.  The Villistas, for their part, took with them two civilian captives who were freed several days later after pursuing US cavalry negotiated for their release, and with the release being accomplished when the Villistas simply fled.

 Cavalryman George S. Patton, in 1918 with a Renault tank, two years following his introduction into armed fame in Mexico.

Constitutionalist, i.e., the ruling government, resistance to the American incursion began to significantly stiffen thereafter and the situation became increasingly tense.   This lead, as we recently noted, to the passage of the National Defense Act of 1916.  The act, coming in the context of the crisis with Mexico, laid the groundwork for the expansion of the Armed Forces, call up of the National Guard, and the creation of the Reserve Officers Training Corps.  Part of this reflected the fears of entering the war in Europe, which looked increasingly likely, but much of it also addressed the fear that a war with Mexico might be coming.
Chances of that occurring greatly increased on June 15 when the presence of a large American force in Mexico again proved inadequate to stop raids across the American border.  On that day Mexican forces, of some kind, attack San Ygnacio, Texas.  In spite, of perhaps because of, the Punitive Expedition, about 100 men of undetermined Mexican loyalties, perhaps Constitutionalist or perhaps Seditionist, attacked the town which was defended successfully by the 14th Cavalry.  Casualties were generally light on both sides during the battle, although four Americans and six Mexicans were killed.  The raid served to heighten already high tensions and the mobilization of the National Guard, dealt here extensively recently, immediately followed.

 New York National Guardsmen in Texas, 1916.

Mobilized New York National Guardsman.

National Guard Camp, Camp Ordway Virginia, 1916.
But, before the Guard could have any impact on the border, another major, and embarrassing, engagement would happen in Mexico, the Battle of Carrizal. 
Following the Battle of Parral, American forces did not advance further into Mexico but scouted out from locations that they were encamped in.  On June 20 the 10th Cavalry went out on such an expedition from Colonia Dublan and received reports of a Mexican Constitutionalist force in the vicinity.  They proceeded to encounter the force at Carrizal. The Mexican forces was deployed to block their further advance to the west and informed the American unit of the same, which in turn informed the Mexican force that it was to proceed through the town.  The Mexican force agreed to let a portion of the American one advance, ultimately, but fired upon it once it entered the town.
A battle ultimately ensued which resulted in the loss of ten enlisted men and two officers.  Unit cohesion was lost in the battle on both sides and the cavalry did not advance past the town. Several enlisted men were taken prisoner by Mexican forces but were repatriated at El Paso Texas ten days later.  Mexican losses were heavier, including the loss of their commanding officer in the unit.  Nonetheless, the battle may be taken as an indicator as to how the US expedition had bogged down into a type of stalemate whose character was changing.

 US troops being repatriated at El Paso.

The engagement was the costliest action that the US engaged in during the Punitive Expedition and it was correctly judged to be a defeat at the time.  The battle came at a point in time in which the US and Mexico were teetering on the brink of war and Pershing was sufficiently angered by it so that he sought permission to advance on Chihuahua City.  President Wilson denied him that permission which likely adverted full scale war breaking out.

The battle proved to be the breaking point for Mexico and the United States, but not in the way that newspapers featured here would have predicted.  With war now clearly looming, both Wilson and Carranza stepped away from it.  By July 5 the forces that were propelling the two nations to war had backed off and the crisis, while still there, was largely passed.   The occupation, for that is what it now was, in turn took on a disturbingly familiar American character.  The mission to capture or kill Villa had failed, although his forces were irreparably damaged and he would in turn fail in his goals.   The civil war in Mexico continued on nonetheless.  The United States had no clear way out of the country it had entered, even though it wished to find one.  The U.S. Army had proven brilliantly effective at moving under adverse conditions but US success didn't mean that US interests still couldn't be touched.

All caught up?