photos: early 20th century america, semi-vegan, hooray for the montana supreme court for ruling against corporate campaign spending

These first few photos are from around 1885 to 1927, the turn of the 20th Century.

african-american school early 1900s . This is not typical of the time. many African-Americans did not go to school because most public schools were for whites only. While there were some relatively good schools, most were not and the children were generally poor and not as well dressed.

car train ferry detroit river early 1900sThe Detroit River ferryboats

Other ferries that worked on the Great Lakes include the Badger, which carried railroad cars from Michigan to Wisconsin across Lake Michigan. At one time 15 railroad ferries crossed the lake Michigan.

cowboys 1901. A couple of these are actual boys. Better on a horse than in a mine all day. The U.S. cowboy tradition is directly derived from the Spanish vaqueros who had originally been the first Europeans to settle the west and southwest.

ladies walking in the park early 1900s. At the same time cowboys were still moving herds of cattle to sometimes distant markets you could have witnessed a scene like this in growing metropolises such as Chicago, Philadelphia or New York. Though the vast majority of America’s lived what we call hand-to-mouth in the South. Those extremes between the haves and work-hard for-not much beget the beginning of the progressive era ,

During the “reckless decade” of the 1890s the impulse for reform was driven by the Populist Party, which was made up of farmers, small businessmen and reform-minded leaders who were willing to confront the growing problems in the country. The situation was summarized dramatically in the Populist Party platform, issued at its convention in Omaha in 1892, which read in part:

The conditions which surround us best justify our cooperation: we meet in the midst of a nation brought to the verge of moral, political, and material ruin. Corruption dominates the ballot-box, the legislatures, the Congress, and touches even the ermine of the bench. The people are demoralized; most of the States have been compelled to isolate the voters at the polling-places to prevent universal intimidation or bribery. The newspapers are largely subsidized or muzzled; public opinion silenced; business prostrated; our homes covered with mortgages; labor impoverished; and the land concentrating in the hands of the capitalists. The urban workmen are denied the right of organization for self-protection; imported pauperized labor beats down their wages; a hireling standing army, unrecognized by our laws, is established to shoot them down, and they are rapidly degenerating into European conditions. The fruits of the toil of millions are boldly stolen to build up colossal fortunes for a few, unprecedented in the history of mankind; and the possessors of these, in turn, despise the republic and endanger liberty. From the same prolific womb of governmental injustice we breed the two great classes—tramps and millionaires.

luna park at night, coney island, 1927. That was the same year Coney Island got its first roller-coaster ride The Cylcone. That year also included the transmission of the first transatlantic telephone call from New York to London. Wouldn’t yea know it there were regulations back in those good old days – The U.S. Federal Radio Commission (later renamed the Federal Communications Commission) begins to regulate the use of radio frequencies. The current behavior of some of our members of law enforcement against Americans exercising their 1st Amendment rights is not new – The Colorado state police opened fire on 500 rowdy though unarmed miners during a strike, killing six of them. So we have a tradition of practicing scorched earth capitalism in the U.S. We could get wild and crazy and have a humane, sustainable and enlightened capitalism, but conservatives call that socialism is what has been over a century of successfully demonizing basic morality.

The Flatiron Building, or Fuller Building.

From Wikipedia: The Flatiron Building, or Fuller Building, as it was originally called, is located at 175 Fifth Avenue in the borough of Manhattan, New York City and is considered to be a groundbreaking skyscraper. Upon completion in 1902 it was one of the tallest buildings in the city and the only skyscraper north of 14th Street. The building sits on a triangular island block formed by Fifth Avenue, Broadway and East 22nd Street, with 23rd Street grazing the triangle’s northern (uptown) peak. It anchors the south (downtown) end of Madison Square, and the north (uptown) end of the Ladies’ Mile Historic District.


Marijuana Policy Highs: The Top Pot Stories Of 2011 (SLIDESHOW). Hard to believe but the prohibition of marijuana begin in the 1920s. A kind of insanity has surrounded its regulation and criminalization ever since. That might not follow strict rules of philosophical discourse, but such is the nature of people who believe personal marijuana use amounts to criminal activity.

Recipes for the Semi-Vegan

Many vegan dishes (like fruit salad and peanut butter and jelly) are already beloved, but the problem faced by many of us is in imagining less-traditional dishes that are interesting and not challenging. Here are some more creative options to try.

The recipes are at the link. I thought if I included that great graphic people might be tempted to click over. I’m not a vegan, but my usual diet is only a few degrees away – OK except for the days I go for the country ham and eggs breakfast.

H/T to here for this, Supreme Court upholds state ban on direct corporate campaign spending

The Montana Supreme Court on Friday overturned a lower court ruling and reinstated the state’s century-old ban on direct spending by corporations for or against political candidates.

The justices ruled 5-2 in favor of the state’s attorney general’s office and commissioner of political practices to uphold the initiative passed by Montana voters in 1912.

A conservative group is already whining so this decision is very likely headed to the federal appeals courts. Fingers crossed it might go back to the SCOTUS. It is possible that a better argument could be made this time.

I might do another post much later today, I just ran out of time. As much as I like this version of Rhapsody in Blue by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, I prefer the version by the Philadelphia Philharmonic Orchestra. Unfortunately I cannot find that version to share with you. This is a great piece of truly American music to start off the first day of the new year.