Event Of The Social Season

“Protect” Minnesota – the gun grabber group that’s been washed away from the front of Minnesota’s gun-grabber crowd by a sea of Michael Bloomberg money – is having an event.

And not just any event.  Nosirreebob – it’s their “signature” event (emphasis added):

Dear Heinrich,

I’m pleased to invite you to our signature annual event at the Capri Theater on Monday, June 29.

SAFE: A Benefit to End Gun Violence is a celebration of community and safety featuring a musical theater concert to benefit Protect Minnesota. Directed by Joshua Campbell, SAFE! is a concert with performances from some of the most renowned local theater artists: Aimee K. Bryant, Ann Michaels, Jennifer Grimm, Kasono Mwanza, Tre Searles, and Katie Bradley.

So I wonder if the esteemed cast and crew are getting paid for this “benefit?”  Director Josh Campbell appears to be a working actor/director (much respect!) – i.e., one would expect he’d be too smart to do it gratis.

The show features songs from pop, rock, and musical theater that celebrate safety and community with short plays, scenes, and monologues reflecting on gun violence interspersed throughout. If you’ve been with us the past two years, you know that this will be a show you won’t want to miss.

Now, this will be the third year for this particular event (or so Rep. Martens’ email says); representatives of the Human Rights movement have found themselves barred from the event in the past.

But I may just try to make a point of being there on the “red carpet” to see who shows up

(It’s Monday, June 29th at 6:30 PM at the Capri Theater, 2027 West Broadway)

 

For Heaven’s Sake…

…don’t you dare claim the media is biased to the left.

That Gorgeous George – let’s not forget, a former Clinton chief of staff and lifelong Democrat apparatchik – is a “journo” who’s in the bag for the left should surprise nobody who had been paying attention for this past twenty-odd years.

The real question, to me?  What percentage of other movers and shakers at the Big Three, the big Newspapers, and NPR/CPB are, if not in the same fiscal weight class as Stephanopoulos, at least intellectually just as far in the bag?

My educated guess is “just short of all of them”, but I can be convinced either way.

Ask Not What You Can Do From Another Country…

…rather, ask why you’re doing it, and others can/will not.

MPR’s Bob Collins ran a piece earlier this week about “How MPR is able to Broadcast from Cuba“.

And just to be clear – he was focusing on how they dealt with the technical hurdles of broadcasting from a country that is the Northwestern Quatrosphere’s little enclave of the Third World.  And I’ll cop to it; the former radio producer in me geeks out at that part:

…when [MPR technical geek Rob Byers] and his team sat down and examined the map of undersea cables in the Caribbean, they found almost no connectivity to the rest of the world, save for two connections to Venezuela. But because both MPR’s sibling company American Public Media and Cuban state radio (ICRT) are associate members of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), it was possible to make a satellite connection from Cuban radio in Havana to a downlink in Geneva, Switzerland, and from there to a site in London that could connect to MPR in St. Paul.

Collins adds:

They found a better way. A direct satellite uplink from Havana to St. Paul, using a downlink at the Fitzgerald Theater and a backup site at Twin Cities Public Television.

Geek vibes.

But Collins also hastens (or hastened, after the subject came up in the comments):

…people asked about political and legal hurdles. I checked back with Rob and Brian. Brian says they’ve asked from the start whether there would be any editorial oversight of the broadcasts by Cuban authorities and they have been assured there would not be.

Rob says he has not encountered legal hurdles.

Right – but MPR is apparently going to Cuba to broadcast the Minnesota Orchestra concert – a fairly uncontroversial-looking program of Beethoven, Bernstein, Prokofiev, and Cuban composer Alejandro García Caturla.

Is it especially controversial to note that there’s a reason they didn’t ask (and I’m going to skip past the cliches here) Michael Medved or Dennis Prager or, um, yours truly to broadcast from Cuba.   The Castro regime isn’t looking for a challenge, and MPR will be the last media outlet to deliver one.

And on the one hand, that’s fine – challenging the authoritarian status quo isn’t MPR Classical’s mission.

On the other hand – Cuba is a human rights offender on a massive scale.  The plight of Cuban dissendent journalists – or any dissidents, really – is the sort of thing that makes anyone who thinks freedom is a good thing a little queasy.

And I have to wonder – from what other authoritarian basket case would MPR pursue a broadcast?

Rage For The Machine

Ben Beaumont-Thomas of the Guardian on the Roland TR808 drum machine, which turns 35 this year:

It struck a chord as an instrument that truly reflected the 80s. “Home computers were coming on the scene, and it just fitted in with that,” says Joe Mansfield, a drum machine collector who wrote this year’s pictorial history Beat Box: A Drum Machine Obsession. “It sounded futuristic, what you thought a computer would sound like if it could play the drums.” It began to seep into the mainstream, as the backbeat to Marvin Gaye’s Sexual Healing, and across the Atlantic to the UK into, firstly, the industrial and post-punk scenes, where Graham Massey of Manchester acid house act 808 State first encountered it.

 “It had that industrial heritage, but had that soul heritage,” he says. “The Roland gear began to be a kind of Esperanto in music. The whole world began to be less separated through this technology, and there was a classiness to it – you could transcend your provincial music with this equipment.” Massey made hip-hop with the 808, and then, because he couldn’t afford anything else, used it for house too, making “dense, jungle-like” tracks that also deployed the 909. “On the 909 the kick was a bit more in your chest, a bit more of an aggressive drum machine. The 808 almost seems feminine next to it … the cowbell on the 808, that’s the thing that says mid-80s R&B to me – SOS Band, big dancefloor anthems, which were a massive thing in the north-west of England. It wasn’t just nerdy DJ culture, it was a ‘ladies’ night’ kind of music.”

It was a commercial flop – but the TR808 has influenced music of the 1980s through 2010s the same way the Fender Stratocaster influenced the fifties through the seventies.

No, really; you’ve heard it, whether you know it or not:

When I bought my first multitrack recorder (a Fostex four-track cassette machine), I got the next generation – smaller and cheaper, not more authentic-sounding.  And while the sound quality of digital sampling drum simulators, software and hardware, has improved, they haven’t done much to improve the control a producer has over the way his “drummer” plays.  Trying to make drum “loops” on a computer just isn’t the same.

Self-Defense

I’ve written a few blog posts over the years about my occasional trips to Saint Paul City Hall.  There, before you go into the building, you go through, not so much a metal-detector, but an insatiable electronic would-be petty deity.  You could walk in there buck naked, and it’d beep, and the surly, cranky security guard would have you stand with your arms out and wand you.  I’ve literally made a game of it over time; I’ve tried to remove every possible bit of metal from my person.  The accursed machine has beeped, literally, over the metal in my shoes’ shoelace eyelets.

And I’ve joked that maybe Saint Paul’s government would be more responsive, and responsible, if the machine and the sheriff’s deputies weren’t there; if the city government had to concern itself with irate citizens the way the rest of us do.

And I was surprised – or, put another way, “not surprised in the least” – to see that there’s precedent for this.

I say take away the metal detectors, and let government at all levels deal with its own security.

Dry, Gray Lining

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The bird flu is killing turkeys by the millions and now Iowa chickens. If it kills them all, my doctor won’t be able to insist I lose weight by eating low-fat boneless, skinless, tasteless, dry white meat. Silver lining.

Joe Doakes

Heaven help us all if the Swine Flu makes a comeback.

“World Ends: Blacks And Women Most Affected”

Back in 2008, I went without a car for ten months, opting to save gas money and walk, bike, or (as a last resort) use transit to get around.

After ten months, I was in the best shape I’d been since college (thanks, biking!) – and agog at the amount of time I’d wasted waiting for late/absent buses, and sitting on buses clanking their stately, sluggish way down backstreets.

Transit – unless one is lucky enough to live, work, socialize, go to a doctor and churches that are all within a quarter-mile of train stops – is slooooooooow,  Wanting to get places fast on transit is like trying to shoot the weather along.

And it doesn’t matter if you’re black or white; the bus is slow, unreliable and annoying for everyone.

But don’t tell the Strib.  They’re on a roll.

What’s In A Headline?  The headline in of this Strib story, unlike the hed of this posting, is not intended to be satire:

Report says transit times extra long for commuters of color

I saw the headline, and thought “What?  Does Metro Transit sandbag black and Latino commuters?  Do lines from North Minneapolis and the West Side and Frogtown run slower than white people buses?  Doesn’t #BlackTimeMatter?

So I read further (and added emphasis):

Twin Cities transit users of color spend almost 160 additional hours a year commuting when compared to whites who drive to work solo. That’s according to a report out Tuesday from four advocacy groups opposing cuts to public transportation funding. 

The report “It’s About Time: The Transit Time Penalty and Its Racial Implications” cited infrequent service, indirect routes, delays, overcrowded vehicles, and insufficient shelter at bus stops as factors that contribute to a transit time penalty that adds time and stress to each commute. For Blacks and Asians who used public transit, that totaled an extra 3.5 weeks a year and for Latinos it was 4 hours a year of additional time required to travel between two points by public transportation, compared with going by car.

That’s the lede.

You have to get to the final graf of the story to also see that “5 percent of whites and Minnesotans of Asian descent commute by public transit, 8 percent of Latinos, 10 percent of Blacks, and 29 percent of American Indians” use transit as their primary means of getting to work.

So why doesn’t the Strib report lead with “A Transit-Centered Life Wastes A Lot Of Time?” or “Cars Are More Time-Efficient?”  Do they think a white person who commutes doesn’t waste the same exact amount of time?  Because I’m here to testify.

It’s too much to expect the Strib to note that the report was gurgitated by Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, TakeAction Minnesota, ISAIAH and the Center for Popular Democracy – four groups that have been working for decades to make sure that poor people are warehoused in the inner city and forced to be even more dependent on the arrogant vagaries of transit than the rest of us – and the report seeks funding to provide cars to black families.

Just kidding.  They want more funding to spread more slow, unreliable transit to everyone else.

What A Century Of Democrat Governance Gets You

Chicago’s mountain of debt has been downgraded to “Junk”:

“Whether or not the current statutes that govern Chicago’s pension plans stand, we expect the costs of servicing Chicago’s unfunded liabilities will grow, placing significant strain on the city’s financial operations absent commensurate growth in revenue and/or reductions in other expenditures,” the agency said in a release.

The downgrade affected $8.9 billion of general obligation, sales, and motor fuel tax debt, according to Moody’s.

The firm said its downgrades could trigger up to $2.2 billion in accelerated payments on Chicago debt.

Who knew – trying to run a spending/”service”-heavy regime based on systematically transferring money from producers to consumers (with a healthy gratuity for the political class in between) is no way to run a government?

Some of us did, anyway.

How long ’til Saint Paul, Duluth and Minneapolis follow suit?

Crocodile Tears

When Minnesota DFLers talk “bipartisanship” and “getting beyond politics”, you have to remember – it’s just talk.

The DFL is stalling on a budget deal, and Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk is already talking about a special session – with a high likelihood of no agreement, followed by the shutdown that, many think, the DFL has been angling for all along:

Bakk signaled Tuesday that he’s already given some thought to a special session scenario, mentioning in an interview that he’d seen polling data indicating that Republicans would bear a greater share of the shutdown blame. “It’s not good for the institution, and I would certainly rather that it not happen,” he said. “There’s no reason this can’t get done.”

Other than “Tom Bakk would rather benefit the DFL than “the institution”, of course.

Just Plain Folks

I got this email (via my pseudonym, Mr. Beria) from the “Alliance for a Better Minnesota” borg last week, for a meeting that’s happening today.

I’ll let it sit and ferment on its own, with a bit of emphasis added by me:

Dear Lavrentiy,

I am excited to invite you to support my good friend, Hillary Clinton, in her presidential campaign. Over the next 18 months I will be doing all I can to help elect this great progressive champion. Will you join me?

Tomorrow, the Hillary for America campaign will hold a strategy session for community leaders and volunteers to jumpstart grassroots organizing efforts across Minnesota. I want to personally invite you to join me, Tina Smith, and others at the campaign’s first grassroots organizational meeting.

All the details are below. I hope to see you on Tuesday!

Thank you for your support,

Mark

That’s Mark Dayton, in case the folksy, “grassroots” delivery of the plutocrat funded by plutocrats asking me to support another plutocrat supported by more, bigger plutocrats threw you off.

The Racism Of The Gun Grabbers: Part MMMXLVIII

I’ve had the occasional liberal complain to me that I’m being overly broad when I say that all gun control efforts are rooted in racism.

Why yes, of course, gun control’s history is rooted in the ongoing effort to disarm black slaves, freedmen, and citizens from colonial times through the Jim Crow era.

And yes, modern gun control was launched as a white liberal response to the inner-city riots of 1968.

“But surely things have changed”, they say.

Surely they have not; the secret committee that issues carry permits in Illinois, with no review and no accountability, is denying permits to law-abiding black people at a rate vastly higher than white Illinoisans (Illinosians?  Illlinoids?):

One such example, Michael Thomas was puzzled that as a former Air Force reservist who routinely carried a gun during military service and has never had a run-in with the law, was turned down, even though the law does not afford police the discretion to deny permits to those who meet the prerequisites and who are not legally prohibited. But Thomas is just one of more than 800 people who have been denied licenses by the board. This board meets behind closed doors and keeps its records and reasoning secret. Even when applicants meet all the criteria, the board says they have no obligation to explain themselves… even when it seems clear that the only disqualifying factor is the color of the applicant’s skin.

Thomas wrote to the Illinois State Police, requesting a review of the decision, assuming that it must have been a mistake.

“I have never been arrested or convicted of any offense, either misdemeanor or felony, in the state of Illinois or any other state,” Thomas explained in his letter. “I have no criminal record of any type.”

The state police sent him a letter back, saying that the board’s decisions couldn’t be reviewed. Thomas, they explained would have to petition a court in order to appeal.

Fortunately, guns remain the one area where the the tide of liberty is rising, and all boats are being lifted: 

So that’s what Thomas did. He joined 193 other Illinoisans – many of whom happen to be African Americans – in filing lawsuits against the state police. Interestingly, few Caucasians who applied for the permit in Illinois have found themselves denied, even when their records are a bit more tarnished (though without felonies), than Thomas’s squeaky-clean background.

It’d be unseemly for a Second Amendment supporter to deny a state – even a state as patriarchal and authoritarian as Illinois – its’ Tenth Amendment rights to administer laws reserved to it the way its elected representatives decide.

Unless, of course, the 14th Amendment is being piddled on.

Here’s hoping this case has the same impact as Heller and McDonald.

 

Let Them Eat Paper

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Divorce case recently appealed to the Minnesota Court of Appeals, sent back for more fact-finding on this question: were the parties even married? The Court of Appeals’ reasoning infuriates me.

When you fled to Thailand in 1975 to escape the Communists after the Americans abandoned Southeast Asia, and you got “married” to this guy that you met in a refugee camp, did you file a marriage certificate with the Thailand government? No? Well, then, the fact you’ve lived together for 40 years, had six kids together, filed married tax returns and owned real estate in Minnesota is interesting trivia but really, lady, if you can’t be bothered to fill out the proper forms, we have no sympathy for you at all. Shacking up with a guy – even with the tribal elders’ blessing – doesn’t give you the privilege to use the Minnesota divorce court. You can’t get divorced if you were never legally married.

Dude. It’s a refugee camp. There IS no government. And if there were, you’d be a fool to bring attention to yourself. No self-respecting government would issue a marriage certificate without a birth certificate, proof of residency, passport stamps showing legal entry, resident alien visa and payment of appropriate fees to every bureaucrat . . . none of which is possible in a war zone. You couldn’t get “legally” married even if you wanted to. It’s a REFUGEE camp.

Oh, and your husband claims you were already married to another guy when he married you. Well, yes, the guy who stayed behind to cover our escape. No, I don’t have a death certificate but I strongly suspect he was captured by the Pathet Lao so what do you think happened to him? No, I didn’t serve him with a Divorce Summons; there was nobody crazy enough to go back to serve it so I could get divorced while I was struggling to survive IN THE REFUGEE CAMP.

It’s as if these judges lived all their lives in safe, comfortable First World suburbs where the biggest disruption in life is weak Wi-Fi signal; they literally cannot conceive of a place where there are no forms to complete, no pens to complete them, no office to file them in.

Madness.

Joe Doakes

What happened to official Minnesota’s vaunted “cultural sensitivity?”

If You Can Keep It

Once upon a time, at the end of the Constitutional Convention, a woman asked Benjamin Franklin what the result had been – a monarchy or a republic.

Franklin famously replied “A Republic – if you can keep it”.

There are times I despair of the idea that The People of this country actually can keep it.

 

Trashed

Bloomington residents are having the same “debate” that Maplewood residents had a while ago, and that Saint Paul residents barely manage to stave off, year over year; socialized trash collection.  In Saint Paul, every few years, a coalition of:

  • Environmentalists who think that having one truck go through your alley every week is better than having more than one truck go through your alley every week
  • NIMBAs (“Not in my back alley”) who for whatever reason are tormented by the number of trucks driving through their alleys at ugodly hours of the Midday
  • Big Government dweebs

…unites to try to jam down municipal garbage collection.

And it’s apparently go-time in Bloomington:

Those in favor most often cited the need to cut down on the number of trucks in the neighborhoods.

“Every Thursday morning my normally serene suburban home life is shattered by a steady caravan of heavy trucks,” wrote John Zimmerman. “Air brakes squeal, backup alarms chirp, and I lose track after the tenth truck has rolled through.”

Apparently John Zimmerman’s realtor told him he was moving to rural Iowa.

Bear in mind, Bloomington already has a semi-government-run system, doling out parts of the city to seven different haulers.  The city wants to go from picking seven winners to picking one:

The city still is negotiating with the seven haulers, but the most recent proposal would cost the average household $18.42 a month for trash and recycling pickup, said Public Works Director Karl Keel.

When the government wants to socialize a municipal service, the first number they give you is like that 3% interest rate on your credit card, or that first joint they give the grade school kids; it’s a teaser.  It will not last.

In  Maplewood, the rates may not have risen – but the “fees” tacked onto the rates certainly have.  The “winning” hauler also made the rate by supplying cheap trash carts that fell apart after a year, cutting corners on customer service, and other “savings” that, in a free market, you don’t have to tolerate.

I pay $20 a month, fees and all, to a ma and pa company that calls me if I forget a  payment, picks up extra stuff without any muss and fuss, and always answers the phone on the second ring.

Think you’ll get that with one big municipal service?

Opportunity Dumps:  If you’re a Bloomington Republican, here’s a classic example of a local issue that your candidates can use to set themselves apart from the incumbents (who, on the Bloomington City Council, favor the proposal 6-1).  Yes, it’s early.  No, it’s it’s not early enough.  If you’re thinking about being a conservative candidate for Bloomington City Council, you should be out there on the barricades today.

(And if you’re a “liberty” supporter?  Helping the people win this battle would convince a lot more people that you’re not just a bunch of white frat boys wallowing in an echo chamber eating chicken wings and listening to each other argue about who’s the biggest Austrian-schooler).

 

Currently, Bloomington’s 26,000 households pay an average of $26.72 a month. Keel estimated that city residents would save about $13 million over a five-year hauling contract.

 

Many residents have pointed out that by negotiating with different haulers, they’ve been able to get extremely low rates. Council Member Tim Busse was skeptical of some claims.

“I’d like to meet the residents who are getting their trash [picked up] for 10 bucks a month,” Busse said. “I want to take you with me the next time I buy a car. That’s some pretty good negotiating.”

In the end, the council voted 6-1 to continue negotiating the single-hauler deal, with only Cynthia Bemis Abrams opposing. A public hearing will be held before a final decision is made.

Almost Always Normally An Anomaly, Usually

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Remember Monty Python’s cannibalism-in-the-lifeboat sketch? It ended with a viewer letter saying:

“As a naval officer I abhor the implication that the Royal Navy is a haven for cannibalism. It is well known that we have the problem relatively under control, and that it is the R.A.F. who now suffer the largest casualties in this area.”

It was tasteless but funny because, of course, having a problem like cannibalism “relatively” under control isn’t remotely good enough. We expect there to be no cannibalism at all in the Royal Navy.

After the Texas shooting, I wonder if Monty Python is the Obama Administration’s best-case – Islamic terrorism in America is “relatively” under control? Not Many terrorist attacks. Only a Few Americans slaughtered. A Small invasion. Just a Handful of bombings. Pretty Good national security.

If so, this can’t be good news: ISIS claims to have 71 warriors already in-country and five targets pre-selected. Have we, as a nation, had our expectations so far lowered that we shrug and say: “It’s only 71 and they’re not in my back yard; Islamic terrorism in America is relatively under control”?

Joe Doakes

Was I the only one who looked at this claim and said “only 71?”

I Want To Go To Town With The NARN City Rockers

Today, the Northern Alliance Radio Network – America’s first grass-roots talk radio show – is on the air! I will be on from 1-3PM today.

Don’t forget - King Banaian is on from 9-11AM on AM1570, and Brad Carlson has “The Closer” edition of the NARN Sundays from 1-3PM.

So tune in the Northern Alliance! You have so many options:

Join us!

Tone Sharks

If I ever need to describe the term “laborious”, I merely refer my listener to “any time public radio tries to prove that it isn’t biased to the left”.

A few years ago, I heard “Weekend All Things Considered”‘s anchor, Bob Simon, carry on an extended conversation with that noted champion of media balance, Ira Glass, on the sheer preposterousness of the idea that National Public Radio was biased to the left.  Glass referred to a series of studies that NPR had carried out, which included a process of “tone analysis”.

Now, I’ve found no evidence on way or another of what was or wasn’t covered by this “tone analysis”.

And the reason the concern isn’t entirely idle came roaring back at me this morning while listening to an NPR newscast referring to a Milwaukee woman who set up a group representing families of, as the newscaster put it, “black men killed by police and vigilantes“.

They’re referring, of course, to armed citizens – many of them also black, by the way – who used lethal force in self-defense, and then overcame the serious legal hurdles involved in defending their own lives from immediate threats of death, as judged by courts that are frequently deeply unfriendly to self-defense.

And of course, “Vigilante” is a bad thing, to “progressives”.

And then I looked further; to National Public Radio, pretty much every citizen that uses lethal force in self-defense, especially when government a can’t or won’t defend them, is a “vigilante”.

Just wondering if the “tone analysis” missed this bit?

The Last Act

It was well after 2:00am on May 7th, 1945 when the first cars pulled up to a little red schoolhouse in Reims, France.

Shuffling inside, and out of the cold morning air, were representatives of most of the major combatants in Europe.  Few were major commanders – the closest being Gen. Walter Bedell Smith, the chief of staff of Gen. Eisenhower.  Accompanied by the Soviet liaison officer Ivan Susloparov and French Major-General François Sevez, the Allies awaited their guests.

Arriving in an Allied-driven staff car, Generaloberst Alfred Jodl and his staff entered the schoolhouse.  Given the assignment of representing the German government by Admiral – and now, with the suicide of Adolf Hitler, President – Karl Dönitz, Jodl had arrived two days earlier with simple instructions – negotiate a surrender to the Western Allies only.  Eisenhower had made it clear to Jodl just hours earlier that only a complete unconditional surrender would be accepted.  Otherwise, Eisenhower would order the Western Front “closed” to German surrender, forcing the Nazis into the waiting arms of the Soviet Army.  Neither Dönitz or Jodl wished that fate.

At 2:41am on May 7th, 1945, Nazi Germany agreed to unconditionally surrender by the following day, May 8th.  The war in Europe was finally about to end.

German POWs in Soviet Custody – these men probably wouldn’t have smiled if they knew their fate. The Soviets confirmed that 380,000 German POWs died under their watch. Post-war estimates suggest that number was substantially higher

The events of May 7th/8th were the culmination of numerous, “smaller” surrenders over the preceding weeks. Continue reading

iNtelligence

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Didn’t read this article in The Economist about Artificial Intelligence, what caught my eye was the photo.

Soon as I saw it, I thought to myself: “You must know Apple’s version will be a proprietary, non-standard size plug.”

Joe Doakes

and it will largely be used by espresso guzzling hipsters with ironic granny glasses.

“Deliberately Unfriendly”

The morning fog had lifted over the Atlantic, giving way to clear skies and calm seas.  120 miles southwest of Ireland, in open water, the RMS Lusitania was charting a fast, and direct, course for England on May 7th, 1915.  The ship had left New York just six days earlier, brimming with a passenger list that read as a “who’s who” of political, theatrical and financial dignitaries from Britain and America.  Many passengers were enjoying the warm, sun-swept decks as they awaited their arrival in Liverpool.

Also enjoying the sites was 18 year-old Leslie Morton, a lookout among the Lusitania‘s crew.  A commotion in the calm waters easily caught his eye; a foaming residue trail in the ocean.  Morton could barely shout out his warning, “torpedoes coming on the starboard side!” before the Lusitania was hit, just underneath her bridge.  Steel and water rocketed skyward.  Almost instantly, a second explosion, “a million ton hammer” struck the vessel.  Within four minutes, the boat had lost her engines, steering and all electric power.  All aboard understood what happened – the Lusitania was destined for the bottom of the ocean.

Nearly 1,200 lives would join her.

The scale of the loss of life wouldn’t be apparent right away, but 1,198 civilians drowned on the Lusitania

Of all the tactics the Germans had unleashed to try and turn the Great War to their advantage, unrestricted submarine warfare had been the most effective. Continue reading