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Archive for December, 2012

The Christmas Truce

I never get tired of hearing the story about the Christmas Truce that took place early in WWI. I realize this is a long video, but well worth it. Merry Christmas, everyone!

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The Mediator

Omaha, Nebraska, July 18, 1919

Editor Coutts Said to Have Adopted Policy Which Caused Union Labor to Lose Out in Several Contests; Party Politics Not Favored by Unions

     With the change in the editorial management of the Unionist, official organ of a number of Omaha labor unions, comes a story of dissenting opinions among these unions with respect to Mr. Coutts’ policy in handling that weekly paper.

     By many Coutts was considered to be an able writer, but others declared that he over-stepped the bounds of reasonable radicalism. The matter came up in the councils of several unions, it is said, with the result that threats were made that support would be withdrawn unless the policy of the paper was modified. Mr. Coutts is said to now be employed at his own trade on a large Omaha structure being built in the west end of the city.

     If reports are true, the former editor’s policy bordered too nearly on anarchy to support the great rank and file of union labor. He was also given credit for the loss of some of the fights mady by union labor for recognition. He also is said to have made fights for a “closed shop” in several instances where union labor had absolutely no chance to win, with the result that the cause was lost completely.

     Coutts was a profilic writer and quite a student of labor conditions and labor problems. He was attacked during the war for his refusal to join the colors, although he was a Scotchman by birth. This fight was made on him by Frank Kennedy’s labor paper, the Western Laborer. Caustic suggestions made by Mr. Kennedy since Coutts’ withdrawal from the editorial management of the Unionist also lead to the presumption that hundreds of union labor members took the same attitude.

     At any rate Coutts is gone and the paper is now being run by another man. It has had a liberal support from union labor in the past and was made the official organ of several labor unions. These unions took subscription en bloc, which made it pretty soft for the management of the paper. Whether or not the new management will be able to smooth over the disconnected elements is not known.

     Several union labor leaders have expressed considerable objection to the policy of the paper in attempting to foist radical socialistic and anarchistic principles upon union labor as a body. One of them declared that union labor does not mix in party politics as a body, but, on the other hand, chooses to insist on recognition from all political parties, judging politicians by their acts and not by their promises or their party affiliation.

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The Mediator

Omaha, Nebraska, July 18, 1919

Criminal Element Winks at Feeble Efforts of Ringer, Eberstein and Thomas

Favorite Employes Defy Mr. Ringer

Law Enforcement Becomes Joke and Officials Object of Derision on Streets; Newspapers Denied Opportunity to Report Important Happenings at Police Station.

The wholesale workings of the criminal element in Omaha recently is bringing a revulsion of feeling towards the police heads, who are considered by many prominent persons as in a great way responsible for it. Daily on the streets, with the commission of a dozen new crimes every day, can be heard a demand for some sort of action which will again put Omaha’s police department on a basis that will make it possible to meet this alarming condition.

That Superintendent Ringer and his two assistants, Elmer Thomas and Marshal Eberstein, are utterly unequal to the occasion appears to be the plausible cause of this reign of terror. In order to cover up as much as possible this unfortunate condition of affairs the newspapers of the city are refused permission to secure news of many important happenings.

With robbery, high-jacking, illegal liquor seizures and all that sort of thing, a lot of Omaha people are becoming well-nigh desperate. Renewed talk of recall is heard on every corner. Declarations that the city is in the hands of bandits and robbers are common. Within the week three white women have been assaulted by negroes. One of them was a 10-year old girl.

There has also been discovered the fact that certain officers have become associated with bootlegging operations and undertaken to punish persons who were bold enough to explode their doings. One of these officers is a Ringer pet, forced into the service by Elmer Thomas.

Truth is, the longer the present police administration is in office the more serious becomes this condition. There is not only a lack of intelligent leadership and action, but an apparent utter lack of brains at work along the most ordinary lines of common sense action. Persons have been persecuted for almost nothing, while dealers in crime have either been ignored or permitted to ply their nefarious work without molestation.

In some instances city employes are retained, not because of their worth in their positions, because they are in a position to demand recognition from superior officers. They go right ahead and act without fear of molestation and without respect to whether or not they are in the right or wrong.

The once well trained force of police officers has been disorganized until the average individual police officer is in doubt all the time as to what he is really expected to do. All of the old time men of ability, with few exceptions, have either been reduced or forced to leave the employ of the city.

It is also going to be interesting to taxpayers when they learn of a coming deficit in the police fund, despite the fact that their taxes for police protection have been doubled in the last two years. Just where and how their money has been spent will require explanation. With the promise of big reforms, this administration came into power. The head of the police department promised a “cleaning” with plenty of results. He has made the cleaning all right, but the results have been on the wrong side of the ledger.

Several meetings have recently been held to considerthe pushing of a recall. Many of those interested in the proposition have said it was sufficient to let these fellows hang themselves. Others have demanded instant action. One thing is sure, this business cannot continue much longer and most intelligent people realize that fact.

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The Mediator

Omaha, Nebraska, July 18, 1919

     Evidence of a weakening spirit being displayed among prohibitionists in Washington is seen in reports that some of them would modify the bone dry legislation now being proposed.

     We are absolutely opposed to any weakening on the part of these prohibition leaders. If we are to have prohibition let us have it whole hog or none. There is only one way to curb anarchistic selfishness in such matters and that is to let the propagandists go the whole limit. If a little prohibition is a good thing, plenty of it is better. While we are proposing a bone dry U.S.A., Englishmen are asking for more and better beer.

     But the die is set. Our prohibition friends are asking for a bone dry country and insist on having it bone dry. If they are strong enough to pass a prohibition law and adopt a consitutional amendment they ought to have sufficient weight to enforce a bone dry proposition. It would be a good thing for a country to try it. We tried witchcraft a few hundred years ago and the result was satisfactory.

     The rank and file of our people have certain “inalienable rights,” well defined in the Declaration of Independence, that cannot be destroyed, even by the traitors within our own country. Such men are able to do a certain amount of harm to the commonwealth, but their success is only brief. We anticipate that no permanent good will come of the activity of the prohibition radicals, but the best way to test their prohibition salve is to have it administered in big doses.

     We wonder what the framers of the Declaration of Independence and the makers of the national constitution would have said if prohibition had been suggested to them. They had the right conception of true morals and personal rights. That can hardly be said of our prohibition leaders of today. Nebraskans have long since learned the worth of prohibition and the men who foisted it on the people are now afraid to again submit the subject to our people.

     Withal, we believe the proper thing to do is to “go it whole hog or none,” and for that reason we favor the most drastic prohibition measure that it is possible to frame, else have none at all. Once bitten, twice shy.

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The Mediator

Omaha, Nebraska, July 18, 1919

A big booze party in Sarpy county was nearly wrecked by the arrival of the head of the family and his friend. Names were withheld from The Mediator, a flourishing weekly newspaper, at that time.

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     Chris Shay, one of our promising young roofers, had a couple of anxious days explaining matters to his friends. Chris was always pulling off a new joke on his friends.

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     Boob Milder continued to pass out that old bunk and would not let anybody else talk. He nearly slipped on a peanut once.

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     Mr. Graham, one of our well known real estate dealers, was wondering whether lightning was about to strike him. He was known as a “great” reformer in his time.

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     Harry Moore lost several hours of sleep by reason of some of his unseen friends taking his name in vain over the telephone. He had a company, too.

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     M. A. Boylan passed a quiet evening during the week waiting for a long-lost friend, who is said to have appeared at the psychological moment.

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     Charlie Tyrrell returned to his large Sixteenth street emporium after an extended vacation, during which he received many of his old friends at his suburban home.

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     The report that Dan Brady, Leavenworth street merchant, was confined to his room with a serious illness proved to be untrue. Danny was known as one of the live wires of his neighborhood and a very good fellow.

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     Frank Keegan, one of our rising young attorneys, welcomed President De Valera to Omaha. Keegan was said to be slated for attorney general in the Irish president’s new cabinet.

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     Judge Fitzgerald lost his temper the first time in his life when an auto speeder tried to run over him. He soaked fifty speeders the next day.

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     A lot of Omaha high-jackers were about to lose their jobs and figured on sending a delegates to Washington to protest against the proposed new prohibition law.

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     Roy Kelly, one of our promising young men of mystery, sent an apology to the editor for mistaking the automobile of an employe for his own (not).

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     Jack Baldwin was back in the city after an extended vacation in Dublin and other parts of the Irish republic. He admitted that inability to speak the Irish language was his only reason for returning.

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     Jimmy Cosgrove placed his name on the waiting list of a downtown soft drink manufacturer. He said he was off of the old stuff for good. Nobody believed him.

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The Mediator

Omaha, Nebraska, July 18, 1919

     One of the most unusual and sensational acts is the free attraction at Krug park the coming week, the Three Val Danos, in their flying aeroplane and perch novelty sensation. It is said to be the greatest piece of mechanical ingenuity ever conceived in the mind of men.

     These death defying artists fly through space at amazing speed – whirling and spinning – the lady in the aeroplane – the other two artists on the swinging perch performing the most hair raising and unusual exhibitions.

     The action of the device is operated by electricity and propelled by the lady in the aeroplane, the crane revolving at terrific momentum.

     The past week has been one of unusual crowds every day and evening at the park. The new bathing pool, with its pure sterilized water, sand beach and other conveniences has proven to be a great attraction, being taxed almost to capacity daily. The mornings, excepting Saturday and Sunday from 8 a. m. to 1 p. m. are reserved for women and children.

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The Mediator

Omaha, Nebraska, July 18, 1919

With the thermometer doing its best to hit the highwater mark, it can be said without any attempt to boost this theater that the Empress always lives up to its trade-mark of “the coolest place in town.” The folks seem to get a lot of enjoyment and comfort out of having the typhoon ocean breeze, pure, fresh air, taken from high above the street level, blow into their faces without objectionable draft.

The show opening Sunday and holding for the first four days of the week is headed by the Eight Whirlwinds, Arabia’s foremost tumblers. These men are conceded to be experts in equilibristics, performing novel and amazing feats. Risley work of a superior character is featured, while ground tumbling and balancing feats follow one another in rapid succession.

Snow and Sigworth, a duo who have youth, ability and versatility, will contribute a novelty offering made up of piano and violin playing, songs and stories.

Jack Lamey, who has for quite some seasons appeared as a single doing a monologue, will be seen in a new vehicle, “Just for Fun,” in which he will be assisted by Violet Pearson, a clever comedienne. The act has originality, snappy lines and a laugh every second.

A sure fire dancing act that has developed during the past season, and which may be considered one of the real dancing gems in vaudeville, will be offered by Leslie and Monday.

A posing act, featuring Mildred the perfection baby, headlines the new show opening Thursday. Posings representative of ancient and modern statuary and famous pictures, recognized as the best in art, are introduced.

The photoplay attraction for the first four days will be “God’s Outlaw,” featuring Francis X. Bushman and Beverly Bayne, which marks their first appearance since their marriage.

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