Tuesday, January 31, 2017

And the nominee is . .

Neil Gorsuch of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

He's a conservative textualist who is well suited to replace the late Antonin Scalia.

A fine choice.

Today In Wyoming's History: January 31: 1917 Legislature adopts the Wyoming State Flag design.

Today In Wyoming's History: January 31: 1917  A design for Wyoming's flag chosen.  The flag was designed by Mrs.A.C. Keyes of Casper, formerly Miss Verna Keays of Buffalo.   Attribution:  Wyoming State Archives.

Today In Wyoming's History: January 31: Wyoming's 1917 legislature choses the Indian Paintbrush as the State Flower.

Today In Wyoming's History: January 31:  1917  Indian Paintbrush chosen as the state flower.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Archives.

 An illustration of a variant of Indian Paintbrush.  I seem to lack a labeled photo myself, and while this illustration isn't the bushier, and prettier, variant I see around here, it's the only public domain illustration I could find.

Germany announces the resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare

The title says it all.

Obviously the road to war was now straight and being traveled on.

The text of Germany's note to the United States of this date:

Washington, January 31, 1917. 

Mr. SECRETARY OF STATE: Your Excellency was good enough to  transmit to the Imperial Government a copy of the message which  the President of the United States of America addressed to the Sen-  ate on the 22, inst. The Imperial Government has given it the earnest  consideration which the President's statements deserve, inspired as  they are, by a deep sentiment of responsibility. It is highly gratifying  to the Imperial Government to ascertain that the main tendencies of  this important statement correspond largely to the desires and principles professed by Germany. These principles especially include self-government and equality of rights for all nations. Germany would be sincerely glad if in recognition of this principle countries like Ireland and India, which, do not enjoy the benefits of political independence, should now obtain their freedom. The German people also repudiate all alliances which serve to force the countries into a competition for might and to involve them in a net of selfish intrigues.On the other hand Germany will gladly cooperate in all efforts to prevent future wars. The freedom of the seas, being a preliminary condition of the free existence of nations and the peaceful intercourse between them, as well as the open door for the commerce of all nations, has always formed part of the leading principles of Germany's political program. All the more the Imperial Government regrets that the attitude of her enemies who are so entirely opposed to peace makes it impossible for the world at present to bring about the realization of these lofty ideals. Germany and her allies were ready to enter now into a discussion of peace and had set down as basis the guaranty of existence, honor and free development of their peoples. Their aims, as has been expressly stated in the note of December 12, 1916, were not directed towards the destruction or annihilation of their enemies and were according to their conviction perfectly compatible with the rights of the other nations. As to Belgium for which such warm and cordial sympathy is felt in the United States, the Chancellor had declared only a few weeks previously that its annexation had never formed part of Germany's intentions. The peace to be signed with Belgium was to provide for such conditions in that country, with which Germany desires to maintain friendly neighborly relations, that Belgium should not be used again by Germany's enemies for the purpose of instigating continuous hostile intrigues. Such precautionary measures are all the more necessary, as Germany's enemies have repeatedly stated not only in speeches delivered by their leading men, but also in the statutes of the economical conference in Paris, that it is their intention not to treat Germany as an equal, even after peace has been restored but to continue their hostile attitude and especially to wage a systematical economical war against her. 

The attempt of the four allied powers to bring about peace has failed  owing to the lust of conquest of their enemies, who desired to dictate the conditions of peace. Under the pretense of following the principle of nationality our enemies have disclosed their real aims in this war, viz., to dismember and dishonor Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey and Bulgaria. To the wish of reconciliation they oppose the will of destruction. They desire a fight to the bitter end. 

A new situation has thus been created which forces Germany to new decisions. Since two years and a half England is using her naval power for a criminal attempt to force Germany into submission by starvation. In brutal contempt of international law the group of Powers led by England does not only curtail the legitimate trade of their opponents but they also by ruthless pressure compel neutral countries either to altogether forego every trade not agreeable to the Entente Powers or to limit it according to their arbitrary decrees. The American Government knows the steps which have been taken to cause England and her allies to return to the rules of international law and to respect the freedom of the seas. The English Government, however, insists upon continuing its war of starvation, which does not at all affect the military power of its opponents, but compels women and children, the sick and the aged to suffer, for their country, pains and privations which endanger the vitality of the nation. Thus British tyranny mercilessly increases the sufferings of the world indifferent to the laws of humanity, indifferent to the protests of the neutrals whom they severely harm, indifferent even to the silent longing for peace among England's own allies. Each day of the terrible struggle causes new destruction, new sufferings. Each day shorten- ing the war will, on both sides, preserve the life of thousands of brave soldiers and be a benefit to mankind. 

The Imperial Government could not justify before its own conscience, before the German people and before history the neglect of any means destined to bring about the end of the war. Like the President of the United States, the Imperial Government had hoped to reach this goal by negotiations. After the attempts to come to an understanding with the Entente Powers have been answered by the latter with the announcement of an intensified continuation of the war, the Imperial Government — in order to serve the welfare of mankind in a higher sense and not to wrong its own people — is now compelled to continue the fight for existence, again forced upon it, with the full employment of all the weapons which are at its disposal. 

Sincerely trusting that the people and Government of the United States will understand the motives for this decision and its necessity, the Imperial Government hopes that the United States may view the new situation from the lofty heights of impartiality and assist, on their part, to prevent further misery and avoidable sacrifice of human life. 

Enclosing two memoranda regarding the details of the contemplated military measures at sea, I remain, etc.,

After bluntly refusing Germany's peace offer the Entente Powers, stated in their note addressed to the American Government, that they are determined to continue the war in order to deprive Germany of German provinces in the West and the East, to destroy Austria-Hungary and to annihilate Turkey. In waging war with such aims, the Entente Allies are violating all rules of international law, as they prevent the legitimate trade of neutrals with the Central Powers, and of the neutrals among themselves. Germany has, so far, not made unrestricted use of the weapon which she possesses in her submarines. Since the Entente Powers, however, have made it impossible to come to an understanding based upon equality of rights of all nations, as proposed by the, Central Powers and have instead declared only such a peace to be possible, which shall be dictated by the Entente Allies and shall result in the destruction and humiliation of the Central Powers, Germany is unable further to forego the full use of her submarines. The Imperial Government, therefore, does not doubt that the Government of the United States will understand the situation thus forced upon Germany bv the Entente Allies' brutal methods of war and by their determination to destroy the Central Powers, and that the Government of the United States will further realize that the now openly disclosed intentions of the Entente Allies give back to Germany the freedom of the action which she reserved in her note addressed to the Government of the United States on May 4, 1916. Under these circumstances Germany will meet the illegal measures of her enemies by forcibly preventing after February 1, 1917, in a zone around Great Britain, France, Italy and in the Eastern Mediterranean all navigation, that of neutrals included, from and to England and from and to France, etc., etc. All ships met within that zone will be sunk. 

The Imperial Government is confident that this measure will result in a speedy termination of the war and in the restoration of peace which the Government of the United States has so much at heart. Like the Government of the United States. Germany and her allies had hoped to reach this goal by negotiations. Now that the war, through the fault of Germany's enemies, has to be continued, the Imperial Government feels sure that the Government of the United States will understand the necessity of adopting such measures and are destined to bring about a speedy end of the horrible and useless bloodshed. The Imperial Government hopes all the more for such an understanding of her position, as the neutrals have under the pressure of the Entente Powers, suffered great losses, being forced by them either to give up their entire trade or to limit it according to conditions arbitrarily determined by Germany's enemies in violation of international law. 


From February 1, 1917, all sea traffic will be stopped with every available weapon and without further notice in the following blockade zones around Great Britain, France, Italy and in the Eastern Mediterranean. 

 In the North: The zone is confined by a line at a distance of 20 \sea miles along the Dutch coast to Terschelling fire ship, the degree of longitude from Terschelling fire ship to Udsire, a line from there across the point 62 degrees north degrees longitude to 62 degrees north 5 degrees west, further to a point 3 sea miles south of the southern point of the Faroe Islands, from there across point 62 degrees north 10 degrees west to 61 degrees north 15 degrees west, then S7 degrees north 20 degrees west to 47 degrees north 20 degrees west, further to 43 degrees north, 15 degrees west, then along the degree of latitude 43 degrees north to 20 sea miles from Cape Finisterre and at a distance of 20 sea miles along the north coast of Spain to the French boundary.  
In the South: The Mediterranean For neutral ships remains open: The sea west of the line Pt. del'Espiquette to 38 degrees 20 minutes north and 6 degrees east, also north and west of a zone 61 sea miles wide along the north African coast, beginning at 2 degrees longitude west. For the connection of this sea zone with Greece there is provided a zone of a width of 20 sea miles north and east of the following line: 38 degrees north and 6 degrees east to 38 degrees north and 10 degrees east to 37 degrees north and 11 degrees 30 minutes east to 34 degrees north and 11 degrees 30 minutes east to 34 degrees north and 22 degrees 30 minutes east. 

From there leads a zone 20 sea miles wide west of 22 degrees 30  minutes eastern longitude into Greek territorial waters. Neutral ships navigating these blockade zones do so at their own risk. Although care has been taken, that neutral ships which are on their way toward ports of the blockade zones on February 1, 1917, and have come in the vicinity of the latter, will be spared during a sufficiently long period it is strongly advised to warn them with all available means in order to cause their return. 

Neutral ships which on February 1, are in ports of the blockaded zones, can, with the same safety, leave them if they sail before February 5, 1917, and take the shortest route into safe waters. 

The instructions given to the commanders of German submarines provide for a sufficiently long period during which the safety of pas- sengers on unarmed enemy passenger ships is guaranteed. 

Americans, en route to the blockade zone on enemy freight steam- ers, are not endangered, as the enemy shipping firms can prevent such ships in time from entering the zone. 

Sailing of regular American passenger steamers may continue undisturbed after February 1, 1917, if 

a) the port of destination is Falmouth 
b) sailing to or coming from that port course is taken via the Scilly Islands and a point 50 degrees north 20 degrees west, 
 c) the steamers are marked in the following way which must not be allowed to other vessels in American ports: On ships' hull and superstructure 3 vertical stripes 1 meter wide each to be painted alternately white and red. Each mast should show a large flag checkered white and red, and the stern the American national flag.

Care should be taken that, during dark, national flag and painted marks are easily recognizable from a distance and that the boats are well lighted throughout, 

d) one steamer a week sails in each direction with arrival at Falmouth on Sunday and departure from Falmouth on Wednesday 

e) The United States Government guarantees that no contraband  (according to German contraband list) is carried by those steamers.

Independence Square, Philadelphia. March 31, 1917

The Waitress

Delia Kane, age 14.  The Exchange Luncheon, Boston.  January 31, 1917.

Teenage labor at the index card company, January 31, 1917

Teenage girl, age 15, punching cards.

Making labels.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Rumor, misunderstanding and bad reporting. Law, the Press and the Interenet

As everyone knows, but which I've been slow to really look at President Trump issued an executive order regarding Middle Eastern immigrants, or rather entrants, recently, and that's resulted in a firestorm of controversy.

Here's what I thought happened, based upon the stuff that I belatedly picked up from the Net.

Trump barred entry by those from a selection of Middle Eastern nations, but not from all (Saudi Arabia, remarkably, was off the list).

That isn't what happened.

What actually happened is that he ordered a sweeping review of immigration, and that he did bar entrants from a selection of Middle Eastern nations, but not all, for 120 days.  

Warning its long.

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, including the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq., and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, and to protect the American people from terrorist attacks by foreign nationals admitted to the United States, it is hereby ordered as follows: 
Section 1.  Purpose.  The visa-issuance process plays a crucial role in detecting individuals with terrorist ties and stopping them from entering the United States.  Perhaps in no instance was that more apparent than the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, when State Department policy prevented consular officers from properly scrutinizing the visa applications of several of the 19 foreign nationals who went on to murder nearly 3,000 Americans.  And while the visa-issuance process was reviewed and amended after the September 11 attacks to better detect would-be terrorists from receiving visas, these measures did not stop attacks by foreign nationals who were admitted to the United States.

Numerous foreign-born individuals have been convicted or implicated in terrorism-related crimes since September 11, 2001, including foreign nationals who entered the United States after receiving visitor, student, or employment visas, or who entered through the United States refugee resettlement program. Deteriorating conditions in certain countries due to war, strife, disaster, and civil unrest increase the likelihood that terrorists will use any means possible to enter the United States.  The United States must be vigilant during the visa-issuance process to ensure that those approved for admission do not intend to harm Americans and that they have no ties to terrorism. 
In order to protect Americans, the United States must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles.  The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law.  In addition, the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including "honor" killings, other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own) or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation. 
Sec. 2.  Policy.  It is the policy of the United States to protect its citizens from foreign nationals who intend to commit terrorist attacks in the United States; and to prevent the admission of foreign nationals who intend to exploit United States immigration laws for malevolent purposes. 
Sec. 3.  Suspension of Issuance of Visas and Other Immigration Benefits to Nationals of Countries of Particular Concern.  (a)  The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, shall immediately conduct a review to determine the information needed from any country to adjudicate any visa, admission, or other benefit under the INA (adjudications) in order to determine that the individual seeking the benefit is who the individual claims to be and is not a security or public-safety threat.

     (b)  The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, shall submit to the President a report on the results of the review described in subsection (a) of this section, including the Secretary of Homeland Security's determination of the information needed for adjudications and a list of countries that do not provide adequate information, within 30 days of the date of this order.  The Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide a copy of the report to the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence.

     (c)  To temporarily reduce investigative burdens on relevant agencies during the review period described in subsection (a) of this section, to ensure the proper review and maximum utilization of available resources for the screening of foreign nationals, and to ensure that adequate standards are established to prevent infiltration by foreign terrorists or criminals, pursuant to section 212(f) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f), I hereby proclaim that the immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of aliens from countries referred to in section 217(a)(12) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12), would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and I hereby suspend entry into the United States, as immigrants and nonimmigrants, of such persons for 90 days from the date of this order (excluding those foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic visas, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations, and G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 visas).

     (d)  Immediately upon receipt of the report described in subsection (b) of this section regarding the information needed for adjudications, the Secretary of State shall request all foreign governments that do not supply such information to start providing such information regarding their nationals within 60 days of notification.

     (e)  After the 60-day period described in subsection (d) of this section expires, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall submit to the President a list of countries recommended for inclusion on a Presidential proclamation that would prohibit the entry of foreign nationals (excluding those foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic visas, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations, and G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 visas) from countries that do not provide the information requested pursuant to subsection (d) of this section until compliance occurs.

     (f)  At any point after submitting the list described in subsection (e) of this section, the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Homeland Security may submit to the President the names of any additional countries recommended for similar treatment.

     (g)  Notwithstanding a suspension pursuant to subsection (c) of this section or pursuant to a Presidential proclamation described in subsection (e) of this section, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may, on a case-by-case basis, and when in the national interest, issue visas or other immigration benefits to nationals of countries for which visas and benefits are otherwise blocked.

     (h)  The Secretaries of State and Homeland Security shall submit to the President a joint report on the progress in implementing this order within 30 days of the date of this order, a second report within 60 days of the date of this order, a third report within 90 days of the date of this order, and a fourth report within 120 days of the date of this order.

     Sec. 4.  Implementing Uniform Screening Standards for All Immigration Programs.  (a)  The Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation shall implement a program, as part of the adjudication process for immigration benefits, to identify individuals seeking to enter the United States on a fraudulent basis with the intent to cause harm, or who are at risk of causing harm subsequent to their admission. This program will include the development of a uniform screening standard and procedure, such as in-person interviews; a database of identity documents proffered by applicants to ensure that duplicate documents are not used by multiple applicants; amended application forms that include questions aimed at identifying fraudulent answers and malicious intent; a mechanism to ensure that the applicant is who the applicant claims to be; a process to evaluate the applicant's likelihood of becoming a positively contributing member of society and the applicant's ability to make contributions to the national interest; and a mechanism to assess whether or not the applicant has the intent to commit criminal or terrorist acts after entering the United States.

     (b)  The Secretary of Homeland Security, in conjunction with the Secretary of State, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, shall submit to the President an initial report on the progress of this directive within 60 days of the date of this order, a second report within 100 days of the date of this order, and a third report within 200 days of the date of this order.

     Sec. 5.  Realignment of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for Fiscal Year 2017.  (a)  The Secretary of State shall suspend the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days.  During the 120-day period, the Secretary of State, in conjunction with the Secretary of Homeland Security and in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence, shall review the USRAP application and adjudication process to determine what additional procedures should be taken to ensure that those approved for refugee admission do not pose a threat to the security and welfare of the United States, and shall implement such additional procedures.  Refugee applicants who are already in the USRAP process may be admitted upon the initiation and completion of these revised procedures.  Upon the date that is 120 days after the date of this order, the Secretary of State shall resume USRAP admissions only for nationals of countries for which the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Director of National Intelligence have jointly determined that such additional procedures are adequate to ensure the security and welfare of the United States.

     (b)  Upon the resumption of USRAP admissions, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, is further directed to make changes, to the extent permitted by law, to prioritize refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual's country of nationality.  Where necessary and appropriate, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security shall recommend legislation to the President that would assist with such prioritization.

     (c)  Pursuant to section 212(f) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f), I hereby proclaim that the entry of nationals of Syria as refugees is detrimental to the interests of the United States and thus suspend any such entry until such time as I have determined that sufficient changes have been made to the USRAP to ensure that admission of Syrian refugees is consistent with the national interest.

     (d)  Pursuant to section 212(f) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f), I hereby proclaim that the entry of more than 50,000 refugees in fiscal year 2017 would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and thus suspend any such entry until such time as I determine that additional admissions would be in the national interest.

     (e)  Notwithstanding the temporary suspension imposed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may jointly determine to admit individuals to the United States as refugees on a case-by-case basis, in their discretion, but only so long as they determine that the admission of such individuals as refugees is in the national interest -- including when the person is a religious minority in his country of nationality facing religious persecution, when admitting the person would enable the United States to conform its conduct to a preexisting international agreement, or when the person is already in transit and denying admission would cause undue hardship -- and it would not pose a risk to the security or welfare of the United States.

     (f)  The Secretary of State shall submit to the President an initial report on the progress of the directive in subsection (b) of this section regarding prioritization of claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution within 100 days of the date of this order and shall submit a second report within 200 days of the date of this order.
     (g)  It is the policy of the executive branch that, to the extent permitted by law and as practicable, State and local jurisdictions be granted a role in the process of determining the placement or settlement in their jurisdictions of aliens eligible to be admitted to the United States as refugees.  To that end, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall examine existing law to determine the extent to which, consistent with applicable law, State and local jurisdictions may have greater involvement in the process of determining the placement or resettlement of refugees in their jurisdictions, and shall devise a proposal to lawfully promote such involvement.

     Sec. 6.  Rescission of Exercise of Authority Relating to the Terrorism Grounds of Inadmissibility.  The Secretaries of State and Homeland Security shall, in consultation with the Attorney General, consider rescinding the exercises of authority in section 212 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182, relating to the terrorism grounds of inadmissibility, as well as any related implementing memoranda.

     Sec. 7.  Expedited Completion of the Biometric Entry-Exit Tracking System.  (a)  The Secretary of Homeland Security shall expedite the completion and implementation of a biometric entry-exit tracking system for all travelers to the United States, as recommended by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States.

     (b)  The Secretary of Homeland Security shall submit to the President periodic reports on the progress of the directive contained in subsection (a) of this section.  The initial report shall be submitted within 100 days of the date of this order, a second report shall be submitted within 200 days of the date of this order, and a third report shall be submitted within 365 days of the date of this order.  Further, the Secretary shall submit a report every 180 days thereafter until the system is fully deployed and operational.

     Sec. 8.  Visa Interview Security.  (a)  The Secretary of State shall immediately suspend the Visa Interview Waiver Program and ensure compliance with section 222 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1222, which requires that all individuals seeking a nonimmigrant visa undergo an in-person interview, subject to specific statutory exceptions.

     (b)  To the extent permitted by law and subject to the availability of appropriations, the Secretary of State shall immediately expand the Consular Fellows Program, including by substantially increasing the number of Fellows, lengthening or making permanent the period of service, and making language training at the Foreign Service Institute available to Fellows for assignment to posts outside of their area of core linguistic ability, to ensure that non-immigrant visa-interview wait times are not unduly affected.

     Sec. 9.  Visa Validity Reciprocity.  The Secretary of State shall review all nonimmigrant visa reciprocity agreements to ensure that they are, with respect to each visa classification, truly reciprocal insofar as practicable with respect to validity period and fees, as required by sections 221(c) and 281 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1201(c) and 1351, and other treatment.  If a country does not treat United States nationals seeking nonimmigrant visas in a reciprocal manner, the Secretary of State shall adjust the visa validity period, fee schedule, or other treatment to match the treatment of United States nationals by the foreign country, to the extent practicable.

     Sec. 10.  Transparency and Data Collection.  (a)  To be more transparent with the American people, and to more effectively implement policies and practices that serve the national interest, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Attorney General, shall, consistent with applicable law and national security, collect and make publicly available within 180 days, and every 180 days thereafter:

(i)   information regarding the number of foreign nationals in the United States who have been charged with terrorism-related offenses while in the United States; convicted of terrorism-related offenses while in the United States; or removed from the United States based on terrorism-related activity, affiliation, or material support to a terrorism-related organization, or any other national security reasons since the date of this order or the last reporting period, whichever is later;

(ii)   information regarding the number of foreign nationals in the United States who have been radicalized after entry into the United States and engaged in terrorism-related acts, or who have provided material support to terrorism-related organizations in countries that pose a threat to the United States, since the date of this order or the last reporting period, whichever is later; and

(iii)  information regarding the number and types of acts of gender-based violence against women, including honor killings, in the United States by foreign nationals, since the date of this order or the last reporting period, whichever is later; and

(iv)   any other information relevant to public safety and security as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Attorney General, including information on the immigration status of foreign nationals charged with major offenses.

     (b)  The Secretary of State shall, within one year of the date of this order, provide a report on the estimated long-term costs of the USRAP at the Federal, State, and local levels.

     Sec. 11.  General Provisions.  (a)  Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i)   the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii)  the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

     (b)  This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

     (c)  This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

                             DONALD J. TRUMP

    January 27, 2017.
Okay, that was long.

What's it do?

Well a bunch of things, but the part that is causing criticism is the 120 day ban on people entering, for any reasons, from certain regions.

The story was that it banned entrants.  It did not.  It puts the entire policy under review. Beyond that, it bans entrants for 120 days while certain things occur, with exceptions. The exceptions are for oppressed religious minorities

Is it legal?

Darned if I know.  I know that it would be but for Congressional action that sets out specific criteria this may be contrary to. Or at least that's how the law has been interpreted in the past.  But if it is illegal, that's why.

The commentary by some that's its Unconstitutional on a broad basis is incorrect, at least according to the interpretations that currently exist.  Immigration policy can hardly ever be Unconstitutional, as the U.S. Supreme Court has previously stated, as immigrants aren't citizens.  That's why, for example, the removal of due process for deportation, which occurred back in the 1990s, was not Unconstitutional.

It's a charming notion, I'll note as an aside, that everyone on the planet is subject the rights and privileges extended by the U.S. Constitution.  But they aren't. That only applies to Americans and permanent residents.  As this did impact permanent residents, it might have been Unconstitutional as to that aspect, but only narrowly.  Resident aliens, as opposed to non resident aliens, do have rights under the U.S. Constitution.

In other words, the US is actually free to only admit people from certain races, religions, and ethnicities into the country, or nobody at all.  I'm not saying that it should select immigrants on that basis, only that its not Unconstitutional.  Once they're in, however, it can't discriminate as to those people on that basis.  So, you could say that no Asians can come in (and the U.S. has actually done that in the past, as we'll be seeing next month), but it can't say that Asians it admits in can't do this or that.  Again, I'm not saying that's a good policy, that is I'm not saying keep Asians out, I'm only saying that Congress has done that in the past and arguably could in the future.  It won't, but it wouldn't be Unconstitutional if it did.  And, of course, that addresses what Congress can do.  The question here really is what can the President do to restrict immigration Congress has allowed.

Apparently (and I haven't studied this) there may be a statutory enactment prohibiting certain types of discrimination in regards to immigration and this might be contrary to it.  I don't really know, but the question has been now raised.  The fact that it was raised doesn't mean that it will prevail, in spite of the peculiar rejoicing that the ruling of a single judge has done that.  No, it hasn't.

A New York Federal judge, US District Judge Ann Donnelly, has put a halt on enforcement of the order.  That's within her authority, but only barely if the statute wasn't there.  As it is, its squarely within her authority, however.  Her ruling was on an interlocutory order, which is just temporary, and which has standards that apply to temporary issues to be later taken up by the court when it can.  The status quo is the goal with interlocutory orders.  Her order stated:
The petitioners have a strong likelihood of success in establishing that the removal of the petitioner and other similarly situated violates their due process and equal protection guaranteed by the United States Constitution,

"There is imminent danger that, absent the stay of removal, there will be substantial and irreparable injury to refugees, visa-holders, and other individuals from nations subject to the January 27, 2017, Executive Order.
Classic analysis, actually, for just such a motion.

Pity, by the way, poor Judge Donnelly. She's new to the Federal Bench having served for some time on the New York Court of Claims prior to that. What a way to get in the national spotlight.
Anyhow, there was widespread rejoicing in some quarters about Judge Donnelly's order. But its' just an interlocutory order.  I.e, its just temporary.

And beyond that, it only applied to people stuck in limbo at ports of entry.

That's it.

So, while you can find all this out by reading or listening to the appropriate news outlet, for the most part everyone is thinking that something other than what happened, happened.  Note, I'm not commenting on what should or should not have happened, only what did.

Judge Donnelly did not rule that anything was legal or illegal.  She only ruled on a limited basis impacting a limited number of people for a temporary time period.  She was, in her order, trying to maintain the status quo until she can get to the merits of the case and used the classic analysis.

Nearly all of which is something that will tend to be missed.

The Punitive Expedition: U.S. forces leave Colonia Dublan. January 30, 1917

U.S. forces left Colonia Dublan.

 US troops messing around at Colonia Dublan

Colonia Dublan had been the U.S. headquarters in Mexico since shortly after the Punitive Expedition commenced.  The location was chosen due to its proximity to the railroad.

The town had an American connection, although that was incidental, in that it had been founded in 1889 as an American Mormon settlement.  This was not the reason it was chosen for Pershing's Mexican headquarters but it is coincidentally interesting to note that Pancho Villa had treated Mormon American colonist harshly, which may not be surprising as he treated all foreigners in Mexico fairly harshly.

As a result, and perhaps due to the U.S. Army having occupied it for eleven months, 1,500 residents of the town followed Pershing's troops out of Mexico and into the United States.  Most never returned, although a few did.  Amongst those returning to the United States were the Romneys of later political fame, who had owned a store in the town.

The small town still exists.

Witness on the stand, January 30, 1917

Banker A. S. White who was accused of being in a stock gambling pool with a Congressman.

I don't know a great deal, indeed hardly anything about this event and how it turned out.  At least the original accusations were quite broad, and involved claims that a Senator, a Cabinet member and bankers owned a joint account in the name of the bankers where they made millions by selling stocks short just prior to Wilson's peace note.  How it turned out, I don't know.  The news had only just broken on this very recent event when this photo was taken, so presumably this photograph was taken at a hearing.

Teenage labor at the Embossing shop of Harry C. Taylor, Boston MA, January 30, 1917

Female worker, age 15.

15  years old.

Fred, age 14.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Century Delayed Synchronicity?

The New York Times is reporting today that demonstrations spontaneously broke out in at least one airport yesterday over President Donald Trump's Executive Order (now stayed, maybe, by a Federal Court) barring entry by citizens of certain nations.

And yesterday, we reported here, on the start of three days of rioting, in 1917, over the recently imposed delousing policy of the United States on the Mexican border.  What we didn't note, but likely should have, is that rioting spread from El Paso to at least one other border town.

Anyhow, interesting sort of similarities.  It isn't history strictly repeating itself, but history rarely does that.  But it's in the same room.  Entrants from another nation that was experiencing a civil war and policies regarding the same.

And both at ports of entry.

The Wyoming Legislature. Remembering to wait awhile.

Unlike Congress, the small size of Wyoming's legislature means that a lot of bills get introduced.

I was going to comment on several that were floating around, but they died or were withdrawn before I could do that.

Which brings this up.

This year there's been a lot of angst over certain bills, some of which is fully justified. The proposed amendment to the state Constitution, for example, was one to definitely worry about.

But most of the odder or controversial bills in the state legislature go nowhere.  People get up in arms about them, but they expire.

The wind tax, for example, went nowhere.  A bill to attempt to address potential discrimination against government employees who find it unconscionable to participate in some fashion, in their official roles, in homosexual unions, was withdrawn by its sponsor.  That one received such attention that you'd have thought it authorized burning at the stake, or something, but it didn't, and the fact that its a difficult topic and the law is difficult to draft was acknowledged by the author in its withdrawal.  One pending right now that would require people to use only the bathroom of the gender reflected on their birth certificate is likely not going to go anywhere, even though its still pending.

This serves, I guess, as a reminder that a person really needs to take a wait and see, sometimes, view towards the legislature.

Not always, of course.

But unlike Congress, which has a highly decentralized and anti democratic method of drafting, folding and mutilating legislation, a lot more stuff gets down on the floor of the legislature before it evaporates. 

And actually, Congress would function better if it functioned more that way.  At least it would let you know what your representation was really doing, and it'd mean there were more consequences for them for what they were doing at that.

Random Snippet: Imagine a world where people actually looked behind their oft asserted claims

Analysis isn't actually a human long suit.  Taking refuge in commonly repeated supposed facts is.  This is extremely common, and unfortunate.  It's a way that people take comfort in their own preformed assumptions so they don't have to look at the facts.  Consider this statement, circulating on a Facebook story right now.

For example, one of my left wing friends has one of those Facebook photo meme things up which states:  Imagine A World Where "Pro Life" Efforts Included Feeding Hungry Children".

Well. . . you live in that world right now.

But that doesn't fit a weird and common narrative.  People on the pro abortion part of this debate take comfort in the supposed notion that pro life people are in favor of the death penalty and ignore the needs of distressed children.  They ought to spend some time with those folks.

I'm rather obviously not in favor of killing people at any stage of their life, but I don't get any credit for doing anything public, pretty much about anything.  But I know people who are very dedicated to pro life issues and, if anything, they would make some feel uncomfortable with the degree to which they are devoted to helping actual living people.  As a rule, I've found that most people who hold pro life issues are radically pro life. . . they oppose the death penalty for example and are dedicated to helping any living soul.  One activist I know here is involved in pre natal health care in a big way and towards trying to help single mothers.

So why the false assumption?

Because it's easy and it doesn't make those holding the other view squirm.  In reality, those who argue its a choice don't want to be talking about the level of choices which this brings up, and it does.  If, for example, a mother has the choice, all on her own, to kill the unborn, why then the state surely has the choice to kill the criminal. . . or maybe just those whose life it deems unworthy.  It gets those folks out of admitting that most abortions are for reasons of convenience, no matter how distressed the carrying mother is, rather than anything larger.  That's far from noble.  Better to come at things with a false "I'm rubber you're glue" argument.

There's a lot of things like this.  It's unfortunate as it makes the quality of actual debate pretty poor.

Also making it poor, I'd note, is the citation of mystery statistics.  "2/3s of marriages end in divorces".  No, they don't.  You hear that all the time, and then people go on to try to make some point from there.  But the point you're delivering is impaired from the onset if your data was messed up.

Blog Mirror: What Downton Abbey doesn’t tell you about the First World War (Part 1)

Churches of the West: First Baptist Church, Jeffrey City, Wyoming

Churches of the West: First Baptist Church, Jeffrey City, Wyoming:    

The First Baptist Church in Jeffrey City, Wyoming.  Other than its location, I don't know anything about it.

The Office Boy.

15 year old office boy in  the office of N.Y., N.H. & H.R.R. coal yard, January 29, 1917.  My grandfather was doing this same job, about this same year, for the Cunard Steam Ship Company in San Fransisco.  He was 13 years old.  A great grandfather had occupied the same job, a few decades earlier, also as a teenager, in an insurance company.

Teenage labor at the curtain factory, January 29, 1917

Edward McGurin, 14 years old.

Florence Anderson, 15 years old.

Katherine Flanagan, 15 years old.

Sadie McGurin, 15 years old.

Gertrude Belier, 15 years old.

Bessie Blitch, 15 years old.

Helen Whitty, 15  years old.

The Coal Thieves

Boston Massachusetts, on this day, in 1917.

Teenage female Labor in the flower factory. Boston, January 29, 1917

Margaret Reddington, age 14.  Powdering roses at the Boston Floral Supply Company.

Celina Melcionno, 14 years old, waxing flowers at the Boston Floral Supply Company.

Sadie Singer, age 15, Boston Floral Supply Company, racking flowers.

Margaret Ciampa, 14 years old, finishing flowers.

Corinne Le May, 15 years old, bunching sweet peas.

Left to right, Beatrice Sicco, Pauline Steele,and Mary Donahue, all 15 years old, working on flowers.

I can't help but wonder how many of these teenage girls were immigrants themselves or first generation Americans.  Lots of Irish and Italian last names in there.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Old and the New

Some people really like new things.

Some really like old things.

Some people, like me, like things and designs with utility, whether they're old or new.  I tend to think a lot of new things being as many problems as they supposedly solve, if anything is solved by them at all, and I don't grasp getting new things because they are new.

This topic comes up for two reasons, or rather due to two recent experiences, both of which I feel badly about.

The first one is that for a long time I've been accustomed to getting a cup of coffee early in the morning, well prior to our newspaper coming.  I usually eat breakfast and then check the computer.

We have some big flat bottomed coffee cups.  I always use those cups.  Part of the reason is that they have a really big, flat, bottom.  They won't easily tip over and spill.

Recently my wife bought new dishes.  I don't know why, although our bowls were getting a bit chipped.  I said nothing about it as this is the sort of thing that people who like new things like.  Personally, I'd keep using the old set until it was broken, etc., beyond utility.  

The new set came with new coffee cups.  Probably a half dozen of them. When I saw them, I thought to myself "oh no".

The reason for that is that they have rounded bottoms.  Perfect for spilling.  There's no earthly way that these are going to stay consistently upright.  So, ever since the new dishes came in, I've quietly avoided the new cups like the plague.

Until today.  All the other coffee cups were dirty so I used one.

When I get the paper, I put the cup on the carpeted floor of the second story, just above the door.  Well, the rounded cups roll right over when you do that, as I learned today.  It spilled at least a half cup of coffee right on a pair of my wife's new winter boots by the door.  I'm sure she's mad, but she's not saying anything about it.

Why did we get these horrible cups?  I have no idea, but I'll never use another one as long as I live.  The old ones had more utility.  Indeed, when I refilled my coffee t his morning, I just used one of my dirty coffee cups.  Oh well.

This past week we've been doing a lot of driving for sad reasons.  Earlier in the week, as part of that, I drove my wife's Tahoe about 600 miles over the course of the day.

She loves the car.  It replaced an older Suburban we had.  I always thought the Suburban had a lot of utility left in it and it wasn't close to being worn out, but for some reason, she insisted we had to have a new vehicle for her.  We got a really good deal on it.

It's an amazing car.  It has more technology than anything we've every had before and it does a lot of amazing things.  And I hate it.

I drive, most days, a 1997 Jeep.  It's been suggested to me by my wife that I should get a new Jeep, as she hates my old Jeep.  I don't understand that at all.  I bought the Jeep just a couple of years ago so I could outfit it (which I still haven't really accomplished) for local hunting and fishing purposes, and to carry my canoe around in the summer, but I do drive it most days.  I don't want a new one. . . ever.  I want to get this one fixed up like I want.

When I don't drive that, I drive a 2007 Dodge D3500 Diesel 4x4.  I agonized over buying that truck, but as we couldn't carry everyone in my single cab Ford F250, and as it really was wearing out, we went with it.  It has no bells and whistles.  It even still has the manual window cranks.  I've put a nice radio in it, but that's its only upgrade.  It has a standard transmission.  I love it.

But this week I drove the Tahoe.  It has more technological crap going than I'll ever be able to use and I can hardly operate most of its features without messing something up.  I really don't get why most of these things were considered good additions to the vehicle.  

The irony is that just recently I had some trouble with the D3500, but I fixed it.  I started to blog about that at the time, but I didn't finish it. Anyhow, while doing that I was seriously considering if I should get a new truck.  I asked my brother in law, who has a nearly new Chevrolet diesel, about his, and he loves it. But the Tahoe made up my mind.  No way am I ever replacing the D3500.

The fortunate thing is, I suppose, that at my age, 53, I'm on the downhill path of temporal existence and therefore my affliction with new technology, for technologies sake, will be limited.  That sounds horrible but I truly think we've passed over a curve with technology and its rapidly becoming the enemy of man, rather than a benefit.  We adopt it, as people, because that's what people do.  New is good, old is bad, we think, save for a few limited cultures.

But that link of thinking isn't necessarily correct.

Best Posts of the Week of January 22, 2017

The best post of the week of January 22, 2017.

The Messengers

The Child Newsies

The Delivery Boys

The Office Girls

USS Mississippi launched, January 25, 1917

Teenage labor in the bed spring factory. January 25, 1917.

The teenage dress makers, January 25, 1917

Scenes of Child Labor in Boston, 1917.

An immigration crisis. The Bath Riots of 1917 commence

Poster Saturday: Back Him Up!

An immigration crisis. The Bath Riots of 1917 commence

As if things weren't getting scary enough, on this day in 1917 three days of rioting commenced at the border crossing station in El Paso, Texas.

 Women's Bath, El Paso.

The riots were a collateral affect of the United States deciding to withdraw from Mexico. With that decision having been made thousands of Mexicans who had looked to the United States reluctantly as protectors from Villa made plans and too efforts to live elsewhere.

It was at this precise moment that American authorities determined that entering Mexican immigrants needed to be deloused and vaccinated.  There had been no real concern amongst American authorities but there was a concern amongst American politicians that Mexicans entering the US would spread Typhus.  So the US Public Health Service came up with a plan to delouse entrants which involved baths plus chemical delousing and steaming of clothing, and chemical delousing of hair.  The effort was rigorous and obviously intrusive.

This caused concerns to Mexicans and those concerns increased when rumors circulated that the nude women had been photographed in the process, which may in fact have been the case.  This could have been done not for the prurient  interests of the photographers, but rather the US was entering an era when the official photographing of all such things became increasingly common.  However, there were also rumors that the photographs were circulating in cantinas.  Additionally, the chemicals used on hair were a mixture of kerosene and vinegar which and, in an era and culture in which smoking was common, there was a valid fear over this setting people up for tragic accidents.  Additionally, smoking was common amongst Mexican women at that time, and had been for many years, in contrast to American women, who generally did not smoke at the time.  While steps were allowed to allow hair to dry for thirty minutes, the concern that this would raise is obvious.

Making the matter all the more touchy, a considerable number of Mexicans crossed daily into El Paso from Juarez to work and were subjected to the delousing, a rather obviously unnecessary occurrence for daily entrants.

On this day, at 7:30 in the morning, US officials stopped a trolley of Mexican women entering to work which included 17  year old maid Carmelita Torres. She refused to submit and asked for a refund of her fare, which was refused.  They women then reacted and a largely female riot ensued, followed by an increasingly large riot on the bridge over the Rio Grande.  Rioting continued for three days and ultimately it was controlled by the deployment of American and Mexican Constiutionalist cavalry.

Also, by the 30th, the practices were changed to address the complaints.  Mexican Health certificates were accepted by U.S. authorities and a Mexican health official was stationed in the American facility to make sure that no improper or offensive conduct occurred.  Torres' reaction, therefore, was effective in addressing her concerns, although a new immigration policy that would shortly come in made much of the changes somewhat obsolete in the face of larger changes.

The Sheridan Enterprise for January 28, 1917. Conflict at the border.

The fighting at the border wasn't news just in Cheyenne.  It also hit Sheridan, in far northern Wyoming, on the same day, showing what a concern it truly was.

Cheyenne State Leader for January 28, 1917. Utah Guard Crosses Mexican border?

Just two days ago we noted the centennial of a Punitive Expedition Era clash between "Mexican forces" and the Utah National Guard.

On this day, residents of Wyoming were reading about it in their papers.

Folks in Cheyenne learned that the Mexican forces were Constitutionalist troops, which I believe to be accurate.  They also read, however, that the Utah Guard crossed the border into Mexico.

That would have been a hugely significant matter, if correct.  Generally, National Guard units were not supposed to cross the border into Mexico, and in the opinion of the United States Attorney General at the time, couldn't leave the country at all (although they certainly had in prior eras).  Unfortunately, with the passage of time, it's difficult to tell if they did cross for sure or not.  I suspect they did, as the newstory rings true for the time.

Friday, January 27, 2017

The Punitive Expedtion: The withdrawal commences. January 27, 1917.

U.S. forces begin their withdrawal from Mexico., thereby starting the process of leaving the country that they first entered in March, 1916.

While I've already commented on the decision to withdraw in an earlier post, and while it doesn't square with the general commentary regarding the U.S. decision to withdraw, positing this in Century Delayed Real Time has made me wonder what the sense of the event was in 1917.  Perhaps the rising specter of American involvement in the Great War greatly overshadowed to the extent it was largely consumed by that, but the news of the past week, with American National Guardsmen engaging Constitutionalist troops in combat on the border (and as we will see, the Utah National Guard actually crossing into Mexico, as well as upcoming events in the next few days, give this story a real Fall of Saigon retrospective feel to it.  It really has the aura, looking back, of collapse.  But perhaps not at the time?

Friday Farming: Army Ranger to rancher: Reinventing ranching with Wagyu beef

Army Ranger to rancher: Reinventing ranching with Wagyu beef

Beacon Street house being demolished, Boston, January 27, 1917.

Note the wood being scavenged.

Firewood location, City of Boston, 1917

On this day, in 1917, in Boston.

Firewood in Boston. . . something that wouldn't be a daily occurrence now.

Scenes of Child Labor in Boston, 1917.

Very young newsie.
On this day, in 1917.

Street vendor


Selling oranges

  Selling celery

 Selling balloons.

Selling bananas.

Selling firewood.

Selling fruit.

Collecting bags to be mended.

Selling lemons

Selling lemons.

Selling lemons.

Selling lemons.