Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Woodrow Wilson releases the contents of the Zimmerman Telegram

After having had it for some time, the United States released the contents of the Zimmerman Telegram which, as we have been following, proposed a German-Mexican alliance in the event of an American entry into World War One.

American public opinion was becoming increasingly hostile to Germany in 1916 and 1917 and it was already hostile to Mexico given the numerous border problems that had being going on for years and the strained relationship with Carranza.  The release of the telegram was one more event that helped push the United States towards going to war with Germany.  In some ways, the telegram confirmed suspicions that were already out there as presence of German military advisors in Mexico was well known and they had taken an active role in advising Mexico's prevailing army.  They had even been in one instance in that role in which Mexican troops had directly engaged American troops.  In recent weeks there's been speculation in the press about German activities in Mexico and Carranza's relationship to Germany.  So, while Zimmerman's suggestion seems outlandish to us in retrospect, to Americans of 1917 it would have seemed to confirm what was already widely suspected, but with details far more ambitious than could have been guessed at previously.

The Big Picture: Springfield Ohio Fire Department, 1917

The Springfield Ohio Fire Department, obviously a very modern fire department as it appears to have been all motorized, in this photo that was copyrighted on February 28, 1917.

The Cheyenne Leader for February 28, 1917. Troops to arrive home Friday.

At least according to Major Smoke.

Is that a great name, or what?

And Cuban rebels were destroying sugar.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Salacious February Part Three. De minimus non curat lex

Maybe there is something wrong with February?

One of the things addressed in this blog before is that we live in an odd era when basic nature has completely escaped large sections of the American population and crossed over into social make believe and, of course, litigation.

It's truly stupid in all sorts of ways.

It's mostly stupid because its ignores nature.

And it shouldn't work.  Court's shouldn't imagine that they can change reality but recently, well perhaps for some time, we've had some jurists who apparently take their ideas of nature from Vanderpump Rules or some other such nonscientific prattle.

And the Federal, yes the Federal District Court, in Colorado has given us a spectacular example of this in the case of FREE THE NIPPLE – FORT COLLINS, an unincorporated association, BRITTIANY (sic) HOAGLAND, and SAMANTHA SIX, Plaintiffs, v. CITY OF FORT COLLINS, COLORADO.

Here's what's up with that.

Free the Nipple is a moronic organization that imagines that women are repressed and oppressed because the societal norm in every society in the world, except for those in blistering hot regions of the planet, because they are not allowed to bare their breasts.  They believe that if women run around topless men will become disinterested in boobs and quit treating women like toys and social Utopia will be reached.

This is dumb. 

The societal norm exists, as psychologist have long known, because men are fascinated with the female body form.  Yes, breasts in mammals exist for breast feeding, as Judge R. Brook Jackson, but in human beings its very well established that's not the only purpose they serve. Indeed the amount of a mammal's breast required for that is tiny.  Female human beings have huge breasts compared to other mammals, and they're huge all the the time, rather than only when engorged like other mammals. There's another reason, other than breast feeding, for that. 

And sex is that reason.

This is well known amongst those scientists who study that particular mammal, the human being.   Apparently scientific knowledge is lacking amongst the delusional nitwits of Free The Nipple and it apparently doesn't make an appearance in Judge R. Brook Jackson's court either, the latter being a really sad commentary on the state of scientific education of members of the bar.

Anyhow humans have the largest degree of sexual dimorphism of any mammal.  Male apes and female apes differ, but not like men and women do.  Same with chimpanzees.  We might share something like 90% of our DNA with chimps, but the area of sexual dimorphism, we're not even ballpark close to them.  Women have a much different form than men, and that has a deep seated evolutionary origin.  According to those who have studied it the reason is that there's an extremely strong psychological bonding aspect of human psychology between men and women who have sex. So strong, in fact, that it strongly arises the very first time a couple engages in it and they never really escape it thereafter.  And, to add to that, unlike nearly every other mammal, humans are interested, with males much more interested, all the time and irrespective of fertility.

Breasts are part of that process.

Way back in our evolution, we're told, men because attracted to women who had big breasts.  The reasons are somewhat debated, but the attraction factor is not.  It's universal.

It's not due in any part to cultural factors, except to the extent to which size is oddly regarded differently by different cultures.   Some cultures favor bigger boobs than some others.  But boobs are universally admired by men.  And that includes those men, for example, in the bush in Namibia were the women don't wear shirts.  Indeed, anthropologists have noted, for whatever reason, that in those regions of Africa where women don't wear shirts there's a physical trend, big surprise here, towards bigger boobs.  Apparently seeing all those breasts hasn't dampened interest in them, and has focused, instead, towards bigger sets.  Additionally, while the reason for it is debated, it's well established in the English speaking world that over the last several decades female breast size has been increasing enormously.  The cause is debated and really unknown, but at least one potential factor in that is the often decried impact of Playboy magazine and its fellow travelers which portrayed only women with a highly idealized, to men, body form.  With pornography now extremely common and all over the net, at least one potential reason for the increase in female breast size isn't that men who are now flooded with mammary images are growing tired and acclimated to them but, rather, adopting what they've seen as what they want, and so now the species is self selecting for larger breasts.

In other words, in a world that's gone from rear view but fully clothed images of Betty Grable seeming shocking, to one in which Kate Upton barely covered by anything is not, but where Kate's nearly bare appearance inspires searches for the fully bare one, where on earth does Judge Jackson  get his views that not only is some real constitutional issue to be found here, but that he's only adjusting perception rather than dealing with biology?

Which, by the way, would also explain the enormous increase in surgery in this area aimed at women who don't have them.

All of which is why Free the Nipple is an organization that, essentially, will get women stared at and treated even more like toys.  A better name for it would be Free the Male Libido or Enslave the Concubine.

Fort Collins, I'd note, is a college town.  Even though college towns tend to be reservoirs of the socially stupid, I doubt a lot of women are going to stop wearing shirts there.  Indeed, most of the men do, most of the time, but some are no doubt going to stop.  My prediction is that they're going to get stared at a lot by young men.  And that's the most cheery prediction I can make.  To the extent that there's drinking and viewing, there's going to be worse, inevitably.

Secondly, this is amazingly stupid as there's really no reason for this to bet the subject of a court' order, let alone a temporary injunction.  The judge, R. Brook Jackson, amongst his rulings, stated the following:
Similarly, I find the balance of injuries weighs strongly in plaintiffs’ favor. As discussed above, any time the government denies a person a constitutional right or protection, that person’s injury is serious.  See, e.g., Elrod , 427 U.S. at 373. By comparison, the injury to defendant is minimal. Defendant contends that many inhabitants of Fort Collins do not approve of allowing topless females in public. See ECF No. 19 at 29–30. 
Acknowledging that for many people  prohibiting females to be topless in public remains a significant issue of personal morality, I find that such concerns are outweighed by the constitutional rights of others. See 11A Charles Alan Wright et al., Federal Practice and Procedure § 2948.2 (“[W]hen plaintiff is claiming the loss of a constitutional right, courts commonly rule that even a temporary loss outweighs any harm to defendant and that a preliminary injunction should issue[.]”).
Oh bull. R. Brooke, seriously?  A temporary injunction.

Even as a matter of temporary injunctions, was the threat of "injury" to the plaintiffs so high that a temporary injunction needed to be imposed in February?  

Have you been to the Rockies in February?

Only an idiot runs around sans shirt in February in this region.

Be that as it may, the entire concept that the Constitution really weighs in here is frankly absurd.  No, rather than an application of the Constitution, an application of the doctrine of de minimus not curat lex would be better.

That doctrine holds that the law does not concern itself with trifles.  And this is one.  

Or it isn't.  

We've already reached the point where things are so messed up in this area that young women have gone from being respected, to liberated at least economically, back to objects.  The conversion of young females from dignity to concubines seems well on its way. Getting their shirts off in public isn't going to stop that, it's going to accelerate it. Men will still like boobs, and now they won't need Playboy or the Internet to view them. Getting  them in bed, by expectation or pressure, isn't far behind.

And what about R. Brook Jackson?  I've never heard of him, but he did practice in a well known law firm for 26 years before becoming a Colorado state judge.  President Obama appointed him to the Federal bench.  He's about age 70.

Do you suppose he told his female partners to take of their shirts and relax?  How about women who appear in his court now, can they appear in court topless?

Let's hope so, otherwise that would suggest that what's good for Fort Collins (which won't be) is somehow not good for the courtroom. And that would be, well, unequal.

Better turn the heat up in that courthouse Judge Jackson.

Congresswoman Jeanette Rankin, February 27, 1917

Montana Congresswoman Jeanette Rankin, the first woman to be elected to the U.S. House and the only member of Congress to have voted against a Declaration of War for World War One and World War Two.

Ms. Rankin was as pacifist and obviously had the courage of her convictions.

Her portrait, on this day, a century ago.

The Cheyenne State Leader for February 27, 1917: Cheyenne to Welcome "Border Boys"

Cheyenne's other paper ran the story of returning Guardsmen in bigger headlines.

At the same time, another story assured readers that the US had "plenty" of men and arms. . . a story that would soon prove to be untrue.  And obviously untrue at that.  If the Guard had to have been called up for the near war with Mexico, what made anyone assume we were ready to fight Germany?

And Congress was looking at giving Wilson war powers.

The Wyoming Tribune for February 27, 1917: Reception for the National Guard planned

In Cheyenne plans were well underway to welcome the boys back home.

But you have to wonder why? The way things were going, why the President was even demobilizing the Guard is a bit of a mystery.  War was pretty clearly around the corner, and Congress was upset that Wilson wasn't being aggressive enough with Germany.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

The natives are restless

An advertisement in today's Casper Star Tribune:

I don't know who the "concerned constituents in Wyoming" are, but while I suspect that only reflects a narrow interest, it's also the case that our two Senators and our Congresswoman have taken a bruising from locals recently, and much of that is due to public lands.

Indeed Enzi, who tends to be the most independent of our representation in Washington, has walked away from supporting the transfer of public lands to the states. Contrary to what he may now be saying, he was clearly backing it just a few weeks ago.  Just recently t he Wyoming Tribune (one of the papers, by the way, that we've been linking in quite a bit in regards to 1917) asked him a series of questions including one on this topic and he denied supporting it. From the Tribune:

Question: Senator, another common question from readers has to do with public lands and the transfer of public lands to the states. Earlier this month, (a) representative from Utah (Republican Jason Chaffetz) withdrew legislation that would transfer about three million acres of land from federal to state ownership.
What’s your position on federal ownership, and how important is it for the feds to maintain the public lands we have so many of in Wyoming? Or are you a proponent of transferring those lands to the state?
Enzi: No, I’m not a proponent of it. The education that’s needed to do that hasn’t begun to be done. The questions haven’t been answered about how it would be paid for.
But the reason we get that response is from people that are being shut out of public lands, and the amount of time that it takes to get any permission to do anything on them even in non-significant areas.
Our last president had a policy that he didn’t want anything done with fossil fuels, and he enforced that by making sure that the public lands weren’t used for fossil fuels, and that’s wrong. There are areas where it would be beneficial to have the exploration, particularly for the national security for the United States. If the lands are managed properly and not with a top-down “No!” for everything, some of that will go away.
There’ll always be some interest, since every state from North and South Dakota east has almost all of their public land in state hands, and that’s kind of rippled across the United States. There are people out in this area that think that would be important.
I had one candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives come to me with a plan that we needed to do that. I said, “Have you polled that around Wyoming?”
He said, “Yes, everybody I talked to is interested in that.” I said, “Well, I don’t think your poll is very extensive then.”
And I’ve noticed that (Wyoming state legislator) Sen. (Eli) Bebout pulled that bill almost immediately in the session, recognizing that it wasn’t going to be beneficial.
Well, good for him.  I don't begrudge a politician actually listening to the electorate and changing his mind.

Senator John Barasso did appear in the state, contrary to what this advertisement suggests, and spoke in Big Horn.

Big Horn is a tiny town, but none the less he drew protestors that crowded the town's streets. Truly extraordinary.  Apparently some of the people who were there are part of an anti Trump group calling itself "Real Resistance".  I doubt that has widespread support in the state, but by the same token I've been seeing some criticism of Barasso for years and perhaps this will serve as notice that people really are paying attention.

As for Cheney, I haven't heard much or from her recently, although she was a sponsor of a bill aimed at the Federal administration of its lands.  People who wrote her with concern over the public lands recently all received the same form letter, which is a cheap, easy, and somewhat dim way of responding to her upset constituents as it assume that they don't talk to each other.

Anyhow, there's some upset folks out there. Enzi has noticed.  The others would be well to notice as well.  I don't expect them to agree with everything noted in the ad (and I wonder if something like "Real Resistance" sponsored it, but at least on public lands politicians that have been ignoring the state risk having the state change their public fortunes going forward.


That's how much the legislature cut from education funding.

How are the schools going to deal with that? 

I don't know, but it's odd to think that the schools that have been undergoing reconstruction and new construction here haven't even had that process finished yet.  Now we're cutting, and deeply.

Sunday Morning Scene: Churches of the West: St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Sidney Nebraska

Churches of the West: St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Sidney Nebraska:

This is St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Sidney, Nebraska.  It's a striking church that was built in 1913, although I wonder if part of the structure may have been added on to much more recently.  If so, the architects did an amazing job of keeping later construction consistent with the original design of the church.

President Wilson addresses Congress on the safety of merchant ships.

It was turning out to be a busy Monday for President Wilson.

Having just learned of the Zimmerman Note, he addressed Congress regarding the safety of merchant ships.

 USS Mount Vernon, an armed merchant vessel, undergoing repairs in 1919 after having been damaged in a U-boat attack in 1918.
Gentlemen of the Congress:
I have again asked the privilege of addressing you because we are moving through critical times during which it seems to me to be my duty to keep in close touch with the Houses of Congress, so that neither counsel nor action shall run at cross purposes between us.
On the third of February I officially informed you of the sudden and unexpected action of the Imperial German Government in declaring its intention to disregard the promises it had made to this Government in April last and undertake immediate submarine operations against all commerce, whether of belligerents or of neutrals, that should seek to approach Great Britain and Ireland, the Atlantic coasts of Europe, or the harbors of the eastern Mediterranean, and to conduct those operations without regard to the established restrictions of international practice, without regard to any considerations of humanity even which might interfere with their object. That policy was forthwith put into practice. It has now been in active execution for nearly four weeks.
Its practical results are not yet fully disclosed. The commerce of other neutral nations is suffering severely, but not, perhaps, very much more severely than it was already suffering before the first of February, when the new policy of the Imperial Government was put into operation. We have asked the cooperation of the other neutral governments to prevent these depredations, but so far none of them has thought it wise to join us in any common course of action. Our own commerce has suffered, is suffering, rather in apprehension than in fact, rather because so many of our ships are timidly keeping to their home ports than because American ships have been sunk.
Two American vessels have been sunk, the Housatonic and the Lyman M. Law . The case of the Housatonic, which was carrying food-stuffs consigned to a London firm, was essentially like the case of the Fry , in which, it will be recalled, the German Government admitted its liability for damages, and the lives of the crew, as in the case of the Fry , were safeguarded with reasonable care. The case of the Law , which was carrying lemon-box staves to Palermo, disclosed a ruthlessness of method which deserves grave condemnation, but was accompanied by no circumstances which might not have been expected at any time in connection with the use of the submarine against merchantmen as the German Government has used it.
In sum, therefore, the situation we find ourselves in with regard to the actual conduct of the German submarine warfare against commerce and its effects upon our own ships and people is substantially the same that it was when I addressed you on the third of February, except for the tying up of our shipping in our own ports because of the unwillingness of our shipowners to risk their vessels at sea without insurance or adequate protection, and the very serious congestion of our commerce which has resulted, a congestion which is growing rapidly more and more serious every day. This in itself might presently accomplish, in effect, what the new German submarine orders were meant to accomplish, so far as we are concerned. We can only say, therefore, that the overt act which I have ventured to hope the German commanders would in fact avoid has not occurred.
But, while this is happily true, it must be admitted that there have been certain additional indications and expressions of purpose on the part of the German press and the German authorities which have increased rather than lessened the impression that, if our ships and our people are spared, it will be because of fortunate circumstances or because the commanders of the German submarines which they may happen to encounter exercise an unexpected discretion and restraint rather than because of the instructions under which those commanders are acting. It would be foolish to deny that the situation is fraught with the gravest possibilities and dangers. No thoughtful man can fail to see that the necessity for definite action may come at any time, if we are in fact, and not in word merely, to defend our elementary rights as a neutral nation. It would be most imprudent to be unprepared.
I cannot in such circumstances be unmindful of the fact that the expiration of the term of the present Congress is immediately at hand, by constitutional limitation; and that it would in all likelihood require an unusual length of time to assemble and organize the Congress which is to succeed it. I feel that I ought, in view of that fact, to obtain from you full and immediate assurance of the authority which I may need at any moment to exercise. No doubt I already possess that authority without special warrant of law, by the plain implication of my constitutional duties and powers; but I prefer, in the present circumstances, not to act upon general implication. I wish to feel that the authority and the power of the Congress are behind me in whatever it may become necessary for me to do. We are jointly the servants of the people and must act together and in their spirit, so far as we can divine and interpret it.
No one doubts what it is our duty to do. We must defend our commerce and the lives of our people in the midst of the present trying circumstances, with discretion but with clear and steadfast purpose. Only the method and the extent remain to be chosen, upon the occasion, if occasion should indeed arise. Since it has unhappily proved impossible to safeguard our neutral rights by diplomatic means against the unwarranted infringements they are suffering at the hands of Germany, there may be no recourse but to armed neutrality, which we shall know how to maintain and for which there is abundant American precedent.
It is devoutly to be hoped that it will not be necessary to put armed force anywhere into action. The American people do not desire it, and our desire is not different from theirs. I am sure that they will understand the spirit in which I am now acting, the purpose I hold nearest my heart and would wish to exhibit in everything I do. I am anxious that the people of the nations at war also should understand and not mistrust us. I hope that I need give no further proofs and assurances than I have already given throughout nearly three years of anxious patience that I am the friend of peace and mean to preserve it for America so long as I am able. I am not now proposing or contemplating war or any steps that need lead to it. I merely request that you will accord me by your own vote and definite bestowal the means and the authority to safeguard in practice the right of a great people who are at peace and who are desirous of exercising none but the rights of peace to follow the pursuits of peace in quietness and good will,—rights recognized time out of mind by all the civilized nations of the world. No course of my choosing or of theirs will lead to war. War can come only by the wilful acts and aggressions of others.
You will understand why I can make no definite proposals or forecasts of action now and must ask for your supporting authority in the most general terms. The form in which action may become necessary cannot yet be foreseen. I believe that the people will be willing to trust me to act with restraint, with prudence, and in the true spirit of amity and good faith that they have themselves displayed throughout these trying months; and it is in that belief that I request that you will authorize me to supply our merchant ships with defensive arms, should that become necessary, and with the means of using them, and to employ any other instrumentalities or methods that may be necessary and adequate to protect our ships and our people in their legitimate and peaceful pursuits on the seas. I request also that you will grant me at the same time, along with the powers I ask, a sufficient credit to enable me to provide adequate means of protection where they are lacking, including adequate insurance against the present war risks.
I have spoken of our commerce and of the legitimate errands of our people on the seas, but you will not be misled as to my main thought, the thought that lies beneath these phrases and gives them dignity and weight. It is not of material interests merely that we are thinking. It is, rather, of fundamental human rights, chief of all the right of life itself. I am thinking, not only of the rights of Americans to go and come about their proper business by way of the sea, but also of something much deeper, much more fundamental than that. I am thinking of those rights of humanity without which there is no civilization. My theme is of those great principles of compassion and of protection which mankind has sought to throw about human lives, the lives of non-combatants, the lives of men who are peacefully at work keeping the industrial processes of the world quick and vital, the lives of women and children and of those who supply the labor which ministers to their sustenance. We are speaking of no selfish material rights but of rights which our hearts support and whose foundation is that righteous passion for justice upon which all law, all structures alike of family, of state, and of mankind must rest, as upon the ultimate base of our existence and our liberty. I cannot imagine any man with American principles at his heart hesitating to defend these things.

President Wilson signs act creating Mount McKinley National Park

Mount McKinley National Park was created on this day when President Wilson signed the enabling act creating it.  The park today is known as the Denali National Park and Preserve.

 Denali, or not really.  It'd tower over these lower ranges in this photo, but it's clouded out, as it typically is.

On the day we attempted to view Denali, the peaks were mostly shrouded in clouds, so we only got a glimpse of them very briefly, and never got a photo of the peaks. Spectacular none the less.   Had we been able to photograph the peaks, they would have towered above those peaks seen here.  The peak creates its own weather.

Today In Wyoming's History: February 26, 1917 John B. Kendrick resigns Governorship to become Senator, Frank Houx replaces him.

Today In Wyoming's History: February 26: 1917   Governor John B. Kendrick resigned to enter the United States Senate. Attribution:  On This Day.

Kendrick was a true Western character and stands apart on those regards from many of Wyoming's early politicians.  He was a Texan who had left school after 7th grade to become a cowboy and arrived in Wyoming with a heard of cattle in 1879.  Having come up on a trail drive he stayed on in Wyoming and became a ranch foreman.  Marrying his employer's daughter, he invested in a series of ranches and did well enough to ultimately invest in a bank as well.

In 1909 he became president of the very powerful Wyoming Stock Growers Association and entered the legislature the following year as a Democrat.  That party affiliation likely disadvantaged him when he ran for the Senate in 1913 but that did not hurt him when the Progressive wave began to sweep that party and he became Governor in 1915.  In a move you could not do now, he ran for Senate the following year and won, and hence his resignation on this date.  He occupied that position until his death in 1933.  He was inducted into the Cowboy Hall of Fame in the 1950s, a honor he no doubt deserved.

1917  Secretary of State Frank L. Houx became the acting governor.  He would fill out Gov. Kendrick's term and serve until 1919. .Attribution:  On This Day.

Houx was a businessman with mixed interests who was from Missouri but whom had relocated to  Cody Wyoming in 1895.  He entered politics from there and was elected Secretary of State, as a Democrat, in 1910.  He was serving in that position when Governor Kendrick resigned which, under Wyoming's constitution, made him the Governor at that point.  He ran for office in his own right in 1918 but lost to Robert D. Carey, the son of Joseph Carey.

First Jazz Recording Recorded. February 26, 1917

A musical revolution was about to be launched as the Original Dixieland Jass Band (yes, "jass" band) released Dixie Jass Band One-Step with Livery Stable Blues on the flipside.

Jazz was in its infancy, but at the point where recordings were commencing.  The Original Dixieland Jazz Band, as it later came to be called, was formed for the purpose of trying to developing a following for the music in New York.  They were a successful band and the first to exploit the jazz sound on recordings.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Poster Saturday: Stenographers! Washington needs you

A poster seeking stenographers for employment by the government in Washington D.C. . . and reflecting the change from this being a male, to a female, occupation, which was ongoing at that time.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Red Sox sell Smokey Joe Wood to Cleveland

On this day, in 1917.

Wood, age 24, had been a great pitcher, but his arm was already worn out.  In that era, pitchers often pitched one game after another with no relief.

Wood went on to be a steady hitter, playing mostly outfield but pitching very occasionally. He retired from baseball in 1922.  He went on to coach the Yale baseball team.

The Cheyenne State Leader for February 24, 1917. Where will they work?

Today an age old problem was addressed for returning troops.

Where are they going to work?

It wasn't until World War Two that legislation guaranteeing a soldier's right to return to his former employment existed.  Up until that time, they just took their chances.  Now, Guardsmen returning to the state would be hoping to return to employment, assuming that they weren't returning to school.  Fortunately for them, the state was in a boom and there was a lot of work.  In other areas of the country Guardsmen hadn't been so fortunate.

In other new, Governor Kendrick was on his way to be Senator Kendrick and receiving send offs.  An American missionary was amongst those who had recently gone down at sea at German hands.  Food was a big concern in the UK and the US.  And Frederick Funston was laying in state in San Francisco.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Today In Wyoming's History: February 23. The Past as Prologue for the Future.

I was up rather early this morning, 3:00 am.  I should still be in bed, but as I was working on a rather large matter I concluded last night, and my mind was still on it, I woke up at the time that I have been waking up.  When I did I logged on and updated this blog and our companion Today In Wyoming's History Blog, for of course, this day.

It's interesting in that context how the past, truly, is the prologue for the future.   Consider some of the following:
Today In Wyoming's History: February 23:

February 23

1847     U.S. troops under Gen. Zachary Taylor defeated Mexican general Santa Anna at the Battle of Buena Vista in Mexico.
I'll note this as I was listening just yesterday to another inaccurate comment on the Treaty of Guadalupe Hildalgo.  I'm going to come in and post on that, but it strikes me that the Mexican War, perhaps the most forgotten of all U.S. wars, has been getting a little more press recently than it normally does, and as usually for that war, not very accurate press. This comes up, of course, in the context of discussion on the "wall" and immigration, which makes for a lot of inaccurate discussion of this event, to the extent its discussed at all.  The war turns out, of course, to really mater as its long reach is still with us, even if we think about it very little.
1941  Blizzard conditions stalled traffic in the state.  This was, of course, in the pre 4x4 days.  Prior to World War Two 4x4 vehicles were almost unheard of and were limited to industrial vehicles. Almost every vehicle was a rear wheel drive 2x4.
This item in particular is what caused me to link this day in here.

When I came home last night it was probably in the 50s.  A storm was predicated.  A bad one.

They were right. There's a titanic blizzard going on right now.  My guess is that there may not be school today.  We'll see of course.

Wyoming weather, what can you say?
1969  Gov. Hathaway signed into law a State severance tax bill. The bill had been extremely controversial, with there being strong arguments by the opposition that passing it would cause Wyoming's extractive industries to greatly reduce their activity. The arguments failed to stop the bill, and the severance tax did not greatly impact the
extractive industries.  Today, Wyoming's is nearly entirely funded by severance taxes.
This is the only item that got any comment on our This Day post.  But no wonder it did.  Governor Hathaway's 1969 actions revolutionized our schools here and gave us decades of solid educational funding.

Now, of course, coal is in real trouble and we're debating what to do. We haven't figured that out.

1985  The Bison adopted as the state mammal.
And a tasty one too.  I'll note.  My son, brother in law, and I are going to put in for licenses.

Lex Anteinternet: Salacious February? Part Two. Behavior leading to execution in World War One and the Death Throws of a Depraved Instituion in 2017

I noted the racy (indecent) nature of some February items recently in this post here:
Lex Anteinternet: Salacious February?: I wonder if there's something wrong with February? Or maybe just men in February. I've been posting some newspapers recently, as...
No sooner had I done that than I had cause to add a couple of more.  Maybe something really is wrong with February.

One is older, in keeping with our focus on 1917, and the other newer.

On the older ones, February 1917 is the month in which Mata Hari was arrested for espionage.  I don't know a great deal about her, and I'm not going to bother to learn, but she was, as is well known, an exotic dancer, with exotic, save for the name, which was a pseudonym,  being a euphemism.

That she was a spy seems to be well established, although its less clear who exactly she was spying for.  Maybe both sides, which would have made her highly opportunistic, which perhaps she generally was.  She seems to have acquired secrets by offering favors.  I'll go no further than that.

The other was a news story on the net that sometime (and I don't know if it was February or has already happened or is about to happen) that Playboy magazine has announced that after a year of having the deluded women (girls) who appear in it appear barely clothed, rather than fully nude, it's going back to nude.

That's no surprise.

Playboy is trash and always has been. But it has been influential trash in helping to bring about massive intellectual confusion about its topic as it did do what its predecessors did not, which was to dress up the prostituting of the female image in a slick way and tie it to a supposed liberated, rather than libertine, ethos.  It's been on the ropes as a publication for a really long time and its long slow decline into death is probably irreversible, which hasn't stopped it from trying.

That really started when, seeing its success, other magazines adopted its slick production values for their own, but without the pretense of its supposed world view. That supposed world view was, at first, boys will be boys and they have a right to play with the over endowed girl next store who wanted to be a toy. Coming out in the early 1950s, well before birth control came on the scene (which is a wholly different topic) the busty girls who appeared in it, at least in the rag, never got pregnant and never had their psyches damaged.  It's original world view was really summed up by its name, Playboy, which held that it was a man's world and young women, as long as they had big chests, should just submit.  The magazine won't admit that now as that would be viewed as incredibly hostile to women but, in truth, the magazine has always been incredibly hostile to women.

It was a success, however, and it made the publications' pimp in publication, Hugh Ossified Freak Hefner rich.  By the 1970s, however, it was being taken on by magazines that made no pretense about what they were about and it followed suit.   The combined effect, given that Playboy had been so successful in being marketed outside hidden racks in stores frequented only by men, was a pornification of the entire society.  Sports Illustrated, which has already been mentioned here, even entered the picture, on an annual basis, by publishing a "swimsuit" issue with barely clad models who went from barely clad, to topless with arms hiding a little, to just flat out naked with paint.  Indeed, it's odd to think that one of the then top models form the cover, Kate Upton, who I guess is back on the cover again this year, had already appeared completely topless, but with some paint, at the time that her fully naked photographs were improperly released to the Internet. While her being upset about it is understandable, her wares were already out there.

The net aspect of that is significant as during the period in which Playboy entered its long slow decline the net arrived and the pornification it had released burst fully forth on the net.  Now the magazine has to compete with itself, basically, as floods of images are so common that its nearly impossible to use the Internet and not come across them.  Indeed, not only have they become common t that extent but now what amount to essentially public displays in advertising are very common everywhere, but not even recognized as being what they are. Beyond that, feminist, who should not be dense as to this but apparently are, have gone from opposing pornography to essentially entering it by sponsoring topless days here and there, and in the case of the Ukraine, having a movement that can't think of any better way to get its image across but to fall into this behavior.  This all falls into the current trend of believing that biology and nature have been suspended for all time and eternity. Well, they haven't. and the running around in downtown Denver sans shirt has about the same reaction that appearing in Hugh Hefner's failing rag does.

Which doesn't mean it won't fail.  There would appear to be no real way to arrest its decline.  It tried putting on some clothes in a move that was a bit bizarre, for it, but had no effect, apparently.  Now it's back without apparel but supposedly updated. Whatever.

Well, it won't save itself in the same manner that Britain's trashy newspaper The Sun did.  English feminist, apparently suffering from somewhat less muddled thinking than American ones, pushed a "Get the bare boobs out of the Sun" movement, which worked.  It stopped.  Good for it.

But of course its success wasn't based on pornography.  Playboy's is.  It won't be able to save itself. And perhaps the quicker it dies, the better.

The destruction its helped to create will far outlive it, that is absolutely certain.Before its arrival there was no doubt that smut, and it did exist before that, was just that.  It wasn't that there weren't pornographic publications before Playboy, there certainly were, but there was a more honest understanding regarding them.  It was understood that viewing them had an element of immorality, and beyond that, debasement both for the subject and the viewer.  Indeed, early pornographic subjects tended to be prostitutes and its likely that well into the 1940s many of the subjects of pornographic magazines who took pay to appear nude were, in fact, taking pay beyond that for their services.  The viewers of the smut, therefore, took the role of remote johns and even if they didn't grasp that, there was an element of grasping that.

Indeed, before we go on, one of the odd impacts, apparently, of the rise of pornography with the Internet is that this frightening aspect of pornography has returned.  Apparently a fair number of pornographic subjects are not only prostituting their images, but themselves.  It makes sense, as the trip really isn't a far one, and chances are that full prostitution arrived prior to photographic prostitution for many.

Anyhow, between then and now came the Playboy era which took out the concept of prostitution and  interjected both a false image of the female form and psychology, but took the prostitutes trade and imposed it on entire generations of women in general.  There is no real doubt, after all, that prostitutes engage in the act for money, not for a higher goal, in the service of their sad clients.  Playboy took dirty magazine and pushed a view that all young women were dumb heavily chesty playmates who existed merely to serve the whims of any male, creating a destructive view of male female relationships for men and women.  Unfortunately, that view has come to be the dominant one and stands in stark contrast to nature.

In nature, not all women are Double Ds with wasp wastes and sex leads to children.  It also psychologically creates a bond between the actors.   This goes to the root of our species in which the bond was meant to be lifelong to guaranty the survival of the offspring, with the parents of those offspring quite often not really making it much past the adulthood of the their children.  Departures form this have always occurred, but then any human instinct or behavior that exists sees departures, some of them quite spectacular, from the norm and what is good.

The partial legacy of Playboy (and it can't be solely blamed for this by any means) is an enormous psychological wound on the population where expectations in this area reduced to a damaged ability to act and behave according to what nature would provide for, and which essentially has converted the male population into what barbarians basically were, in terms of their behavior, and what concubines were, in terms of their behavior, by gender.  And it has served to reduce women, in spite of all of their advances, from a protected gender to a second class servile one.

Not a legacy to be proud of.

The National Vocational Act (Smith Hughes Act) signed into law.

The National Vocational Act was the first American law to provide a direct Federal role in high school education.  It was signed into law on this day, in 1917.

Student in technical high school, 1916.

The act was aimed at students who were going to work directly on farms but its scope was broader than that and it had the support of Labor, which helped cause it to pass.  It's stated purpose was to support those "who have entered upon or who are preparing to enter upon the work of the farm" and funding was provided for that goal.  It also included mandated the creation of a Board of Vocational Education in each state, which lead to some districts combining their existing board with that purpose and others having a separate board just for that purpose.

 Girls in automobile mechanics class, Central High, Washington D. C., 1927.

The act was a really significant development in terms of the evolution of the relationship between the states and the Federal government. There had been prior acts on the topic of education, including a vocational act that this was a successor to, but this was the first Federal provision to directly impose requirements upon a state in regards to education and the first to provide Federal funding to the states.  In these regards, this was a fairly revolutionary Progressive Era step and its one that lead to later broader steps, perhaps culminating in the creation of the US Department of Education in 1979. We are now so used to the concept of that cabinet level entity existing that its hard to imagine that its a relatively recent arrival in terms of Federal agencies.  It's start can be seen to exist with the passage of the Smith Hughes Act into law in this day, one hundred years ago as of this posting.

Seal of the Department of Education.

Every school district in Wyoming continues to have at least some vocational training.  Natrona County has a completely separate high school campus, recently built, for scientific and vocational training.