During a rant about the latest Tory scheme of putting a price on the world and everything in it, another Kossak, James Wells, pointed me toward works by Paul Kingsnorth and, by extension, other Dark Mountain Project participants. He and his followers believe, given runaway consumerist capitalism, burgeoning population growth, and negligence by governmental authorities, that it may futile to participate in the environmental movement as it stands. On the whole, I disagree, but can understand their frustration and, having read their manifesto and the first of their published books, will continue to read subsequent volumes. The conversations between those who believe they have an existential obligation to continue the fight despite the possibility of failure, and those who feel that it is time to prepare for the worst, are conversations worth having.
May 18, 2014 archive
May 18 2014
Wake! For the Sun, who scatter’d into flight
The Stars before him from the Field of Night,
Drives Night along with them from Heav’n, and strikes
The Sultan’s Turret with a Shaft of Light.
Before the phantom of False morning died,
Methought a Voice within the Tavern cried,
“When all the Temple is prepared within,
Why nods the drowsy Worshipper outside?”
And, as the Cock crew, those who stood before
The Tavern shouted–“Open then the Door!
You know how little while we have to stay,
And, once departed, may return no more.”
From The Ru·bái·yát of O·mar Khayyám
Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when
we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.
(Truth be told, friends, we’re really not that disorganized; the fact that we’ve managed to put this series together and stick with it disabuses the notion that we’re disorganized, right? Also, I wish I had a censored night once in awhile, but alas, this is something my producers made me say.)
This Day in History
May 18 2014
This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
Click on image to enlarge
May 18 is the 138th day of the year (139th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 227 days remaining until the end of the year.
On this day in 1917, U.S. Congress passes Selective Service Act.
Some six weeks after the United States formally entered the First World War, the U.S Congress passes the Selective Service Act on May 18, 1917, giving the U.S. president the power to draft soldiers.
When he went before Congress on April 2, 1917, to deliver his war message, President Woodrow Wilson had pledged all of his nation’s considerable material resources to help the Allies-France, Britain, Russia and Italy-defeat the Central Powers. What the Allies desperately needed, however, were fresh troops to relieve their exhausted men on the battlefields of the Western Front, and these the U.S. was not immediately able to provide. Despite Wilson’s effort to improve military preparedness over the course of 1916, at the time of Congress’s war declaration the U.S. had only a small army of volunteers-some 100,000 men-that was in no way trained or equipped for the kind of fighting that was going on in Europe.
To remedy this situation, Wilson pushed the government to adopt military conscription, which he argued was the most democratic form of enlistment. To that end, Congress passed the Selective Service Act, which Wilson signed into law on May 18, 1917. The act required all men in the U.S. between the ages of 21 and 30 to register for military service. Within a few months, some 10 million men across the country had registered in response to the military draft.
During World War I there were three registrations.
The first, on June 5, 1917, was for all men between the ages of 21 and 31.
The second, on June 5, 1918, registered those who attained age 21 after June 5, 1917. A supplemental registration, included in the second registration, was held on August 24, 1918, for those becoming 21 years old after June 5, 1918.
The third registration was held on September 12, 1918, for men age 18 through 45.
After the signing of the armistice of November 11, 1918, the activities of the Selective Service System were rapidly curtailed. On March 31, 1919, all local, district, and medical advisory boards were closed, and on May 21, 1919, the last state headquarters closed operations. The Provost Marshal General was relieved from duty on July 15, 1919, thereby finally terminating the activities of the Selective Service System of World War I.
May 18 2014
Ukraine is approaching point of no return, says UN chief
18 May 2014 Last updated at 07:20
Ukraine is edging towards “the point of no return”, a senior UN official says, amid rising tensions between security forces and pro-Russia separatists.
UN Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic told the BBC that the crisis had worrying echoes of the 1990s war in his native Croatia.
Reports from eastern Ukraine say clashes between government forces and separatist militants have continued.
The separatists have not taken part in EU-brokered talks to defuse the crisis.